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About GrowBot

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.

Project's details

Starting date
1st January, 2019
Project duration
48 months
Barbara Mazzolai
Project officer
Adelina Nicolaie
Project Manager
Francesca Tramacere
Evaluation score
Grant Agreement
Funding Institution
Funded under
Funding scheme
Working program
FET Proactive: emerging paradigms and communities
Living technologies
Call identifier
Requested EU contribution

Principal Investigators

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Barbara Mazzolai
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Nicola Tirelli
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Andreas Lendlein
Tel Aviv University
Yasmine Meroz
Gran Sasso Science Institute
Pierangelo Marcati
Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna
Cecilia Laschi
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Thomas Speck
Linari Engineering
Stefano Linari
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Nicholas Rowe
Arkine Technologies (Bioo)
Pablo Vidarte

Advisory Board

University of Reading
George Jeronimidis
Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna
Antonio De Simone
Avio Aero GE
Sandro De Poli