GrowBot is a European project funded under the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme, specifically FET-Proactive, of the EU framework programme for research and innovation (Horizon 2020).
GrowBot proposes a disruptively new paradigm of movement in robotics inspired by the moving-by-growing abilities of climbing plants.
Plants are still a quite unexplored model in robotics and ICT technologies, as their sessile nature leads to think that they do not move. Instead, they move greatly, on a different time scale, purposively, effectively and efficiently. To move from one point to another, plants must grow and continuously adapt their body to the external environmental conditions. This continuous growth is particularly evident in climbing plants.
The GrowBot objective is to develop low-mass and low-volume robots capable of anchoring themselves, negotiating voids, and more generally climbing, where current climbing robots based on wheels, legs, or rails would get stuck or fall.
GrowBot is based on a strongly interdisciplinary character and can open the way for a new technological paradigm around the concept of growing robots, fostering a European innovation eco-system for several high-tech sectors.