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Future House | Robotic Flower Solar Panels

Ask This Old House home technology expert Ross Trethewey sees a robotic, ground-mounted solar array that mimics a sunflower


  1. The solar panel array is installed by securing four massive earth screws into the ground to act as a base.
  2. The solar panel array is then craned off of a truck into place on top of the earth screws.
  3. A trench is dug from the array to the house. Conduits are placed in the trench containing a hot, ground, neutral, and a Cat5 cable. The Cat5 cable allows the system to take in weather and location data.
  4. Once the array is secured to the base and wired up, the latitude and longitude of the area is programmed into the system and it can be powered up.


The solar flower Ross saw installed is called the SmartFlower, and it is manufactured by SmartFlower Solar.