Mechanical Venus Flytrap

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Sarah Haight


The Idaho Botanical Garden is sponsoring a Senior Design team from Boise State University to create an interactive model of a Venus flytrap allowing patrons of the Idaho Botanical Garden firsthand experience with a carnivorous plant without activating or harming a live flytrap. This is a continuation of a project started in the 2012 Fall Semester. This year’s design approach has revolved around fixing the complications that were encountered in the first project. The external, life-like covering has experienced design revisions due to the limited amount of weight the 5 volt motor and multi-joint drive shaft can maneuver. The covering is to be made with a porous foam and 3D paint to accomplish a light, but realistic appearance. The functionality of the design is accomplished with joystick sensors modeling Venus flytrap hairs, a stepper motor to close and open the model leaves, and an Arduino processor to model to correct Venus flytrap behavior. The Plexiglas case is fitted to the flytrap box to protect the mechatronics and increase the functional and visible lifespan. The model is expected to experience 400 activations daily. The mechatronic Venus flytrap is sure to be a main attraction, almost as popular as the real specimen.

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