Unsatisfied with houseplants having no means of self-defense, artist David Bowen created a robotic interface that allows them to use biological signals to swing weapons.

The viral video posted on social networks shows the humble philodendron wielding a machete with the aid of a robotic arm. According to the inventive artist, the hand receives signals from EEG biosensors placed on the plant’s leaf, which are then mapped to the motor functions of the hand, allowing the plant to control the movements of the knife.

“I was speculating on what would happen if a common houseplant was enabled to defend itself with the same device that is often used to destroy it,” Bowen said.

The project, called Plant Machete, uses an Arduino microcontroller and adhesive sensor pads to collect biological impulses from five plant leaves in the form of variable resistance data. The Raspberry Pi then processes these signals and transmits them in real-time to control the robot’s manipulator motors, allowing the plant’s natural biological processes to control its physical movements.

“In this way, the movements of the machete are determined based on input from the plant,” Bowen writes in a statement on his website. “Essentially the plant is the brain of the robot controlling the machete determining how it swings, jabs, slices and interacts in space.”

Bowen is not the first to use plants and living organisms to interact with electronics. Similar projects used the biorhythms of fungi and other forms of vegetation to play on synthesizers, and one synthesizer manufacturer even produced a module that allows people to connect plants to larger systems.