Work Packages

Explore the WPs' architecture to learn more about GrowBot's activities

Architecture of GrowBot's work packages.

WP1 - Management

This WP aims at guaranteeing the smooth coordination of the research activities carried out by the different partners towards the objectives of the project, in accordance with the proposed work plan. It is the objective of this WP the reporting to EC, both for the scientific, the administrative and financial matters. This WP is also aimed at managing possible conflicts or deviations from the work plan.

WP2 - Tutorials and design specifications

Two tutorials will to be given by biologists to engineers and by engineers to biologists. It can be a very effective way to exchange systematized knowledge between researchers from different communities and will greatly help the successive phases of joint research. This approach will help to overcome the difficulties inherent to the multi-disciplinary nature of GrowBot and open the discussion for the next WPs. The tutorials will then be made available on the Consortium web site for easy access. After this preliminary phase, this WP will be dedicated to define GrowBot design specifications and application scenarios.

WP3 - Climbing plants observation and modelling

WP3 aims to extract the structural and functional benchmarks required to design the plant-inspired growing robots and attachment solutions. The starting points are based on several scientific questions relevant in robotics and materials science, which include, among many: Why are climbing plants increasing in ecological importance? What functional traits underlie this increase? What are the mechanics, physics and chemistry behind attachment mechanisms? What evolutionary patterns underlie this diversity and success? What methods and tools (database technologies, ecological approaches, study plots, experimentation) do we need to develop and improve? What properties of vines and tendrils are useful for biomimetics research?

WP4 - Smart materials for growing process and attachment solutions

This WP focuses on the design and development of innovative materials and smart soft actuators required for and compatible with the growing mechanisms developed in WP5. Specifically, the following activities will be performed: 1) production of polymeric materials with stimuli-responsive behaviour, compatible with the growing mechanism described in Task 5.1; 2) in situ fabrication of soft actuators as structural materials for the growing parts integrable with the mechanism described in Task 5.4; 3) bioinspired attachment structures.

WP5 - Embodied additive manufacturing mechanisms for growing robots

This WP focuses on developing a set of additive manufacturing sub-robotics mechanisms aimed to build the robot structure. Three mechanisms for growing robots will be developed compatible with different materials such as liquid, gel, or filament (developed in WP4 or commercially available). Task 5.3 will focuses on developing a soft flexible system inspired by the searcher apical structure of climbing plants for exploration and anchoring tasks. The developed technologies will be integrated in WP8.

WP5 - Embodied additive manufacturing mechanisms for growing robots

This WP focuses on developing a set of additive manufacturing sub-robotics mechanisms aimed to build the robot structure. Three mechanisms for growing robots will be developed compatible with different materials such as liquid, gel, or filament (developed in WP4 or commercially available). Task 5.3 will focuses on developing a soft flexible system inspired by the searcher apical structure of climbing plants for exploration and anchoring tasks. The developed technologies will be integrated in WP8.

WP6 - Robot sensory-motor architectures

This WP aims at developing control strategies and sensory-motor behaviours of self-creating robots. Main strategies are based on CNs and thigmotropic responses in climbing plants. The corresponding reactive control algorithms will be implemented on the embedded control unit to properly direct the growing of the robot in real time. In addition to such reactive, local, behaviours, sensory-motor architectures will be defined for implementing plant-level strategies and mechanisms for overall movement and coordination of climbing parts, as studied in WP3.

WP7 - Plant-robot interfaces for bio-hybrid energy generation

i) To implement an energy functionality by using real plants and MFCs used to recharge GrowBots; and; ii) to develop interfaces between real plants and GrowBots to convert environmental mechanical energy (wind & rain) into electrical energy harvested, creating a “plant-robot, bio-hybrid symbiosis”.

WP8 - Integration

This WP aims at releasing the final prototypes of GrowBots (TRL 4). Three different growing robots will be integrated with different functionalities and for different aims. The integration process will be held at the IIT facilities, where the final prototypes will be located. Periodic integration meetings involving all the partners will be organized at the IIT laboratories during this working period to guarantee a smooth coordination and integration phase.

WP9 - Experimental validation

This WP aims to carry out continuous and later validations towards final GrowBot prototypes at two overall levels: i) biological validations (9.1&9.2), where developed platforms will be used to implement climbing plant control strategies and verify capabilities that imitate plant behaviour; and later ii) application-oriented validations (9.3&9.4), where the three GrowBots will be tested in simulated lab scenarios to verify their capabilities to move and explore in highly unstructured environments under different tasks.

WP10 - Community building

This WP is dedicated to consolidate a ground-breaking and disruptive community on plant-inspired robotics technologies, strongly grounded on an inter-disciplinary character. GrowBot will lay the foundational activities to make this community active within, outside and beyond the project and within and among specialists in biology and technology

WP11 - Dissemination, Communication, and Exploitation

External dissemination and communication, as well as at exploitation of the project results.

  • WP1 - Management

    This WP aims at guaranteeing the smooth coordination of the research activities carried out by the different partners towards the objectives of the project, in accordance with the proposed work plan. It is the objective of this WP the reporting to EC, both for the scientific, the administrative and financial matters. This WP is also aimed at managing possible conflicts or deviations from the work plan.

  • WP2 - Tutorials and design specifications

    Two tutorials will to be given by biologists to engineers and by engineers to biologists. It can be a very effective way to exchange systematized knowledge between researchers from different communities and will greatly help the successive phases of joint research. This approach will help to overcome the difficulties inherent to the multi-disciplinary nature of GrowBot and open the discussion for the next WPs. The tutorials will then be made available on the Consortium web site for easy access. After this preliminary phase, this WP will be dedicated to define GrowBot design specifications and application scenarios.

  • WP3 - Climbing plants observation and modelling

    WP3 aims to extract the structural and functional benchmarks required to design the plant-inspired growing robots and attachment solutions. The starting points are based on several scientific questions relevant in robotics and materials science, which include, among many: Why are climbing plants increasing in ecological importance? What functional traits underlie this increase? What are the mechanics, physics and chemistry behind attachment mechanisms? What evolutionary patterns underlie this diversity and success? What methods and tools (database technologies, ecological approaches, study plots, experimentation) do we need to develop and improve? What properties of vines and tendrils are useful for biomimetics research?

  • WP4 - Smart materials for growing process and attachment solutions

    This WP focuses on the design and development of innovative materials and smart soft actuators required for and compatible with the growing mechanisms developed in WP5. Specifically, the following activities will be performed: 1) production of polymeric materials with stimuli-responsive behaviour, compatible with the growing mechanism described in Task 5.1; 2) in situ fabrication of soft actuators as structural materials for the growing parts integrable with the mechanism described in Task 5.4; 3) bioinspired attachment structures.

  • WP5 - Embodied additive manufacturing mechanisms for growing robots

    This WP focuses on developing a set of additive manufacturing sub-robotics mechanisms aimed to build the robot structure. Three mechanisms for growing robots will be developed compatible with different materials such as liquid, gel, or filament (developed in WP4 or commercially available). Task 5.3 will focuses on developing a soft flexible system inspired by the searcher apical structure of climbing plants for exploration and anchoring tasks. The developed technologies will be integrated in WP8.

  • WP5 - Embodied additive manufacturing mechanisms for growing robots

    This WP focuses on developing a set of additive manufacturing sub-robotics mechanisms aimed to build the robot structure. Three mechanisms for growing robots will be developed compatible with different materials such as liquid, gel, or filament (developed in WP4 or commercially available). Task 5.3 will focuses on developing a soft flexible system inspired by the searcher apical structure of climbing plants for exploration and anchoring tasks. The developed technologies will be integrated in WP8.

  • WP6 - Robot sensory-motor architectures

    This WP aims at developing control strategies and sensory-motor behaviours of self-creating robots. Main strategies are based on CNs and thigmotropic responses in climbing plants. The corresponding reactive control algorithms will be implemented on the embedded control unit to properly direct the growing of the robot in real time. In addition to such reactive, local, behaviours, sensory-motor architectures will be defined for implementing plant-level strategies and mechanisms for overall movement and coordination of climbing parts, as studied in WP3.

  • WP7 - Plant-robot interfaces for bio-hybrid energy generation

    i) To implement an energy functionality by using real plants and MFCs used to recharge GrowBots; and; ii) to develop interfaces between real plants and GrowBots to convert environmental mechanical energy (wind & rain) into electrical energy harvested, creating a “plant-robot, bio-hybrid symbiosis”.

  • WP8 - Integration

    This WP aims at releasing the final prototypes of GrowBots (TRL 4). Three different growing robots will be integrated with different functionalities and for different aims. The integration process will be held at the IIT facilities, where the final prototypes will be located. Periodic integration meetings involving all the partners will be organized at the IIT laboratories during this working period to guarantee a smooth coordination and integration phase.

  • WP9 - Experimental validation

    This WP aims to carry out continuous and later validations towards final GrowBot prototypes at two overall levels: i) biological validations (9.1&9.2), where developed platforms will be used to implement climbing plant control strategies and verify capabilities that imitate plant behaviour; and later ii) application-oriented validations (9.3&9.4), where the three GrowBots will be tested in simulated lab scenarios to verify their capabilities to move and explore in highly unstructured environments under different tasks.

  • WP10 - Community building

    This WP is dedicated to consolidate a ground-breaking and disruptive community on plant-inspired robotics technologies, strongly grounded on an inter-disciplinary character. GrowBot will lay the foundational activities to make this community active within, outside and beyond the project and within and among specialists in biology and technology

  • WP11 - Dissemination, Communication, and Exploitation

    External dissemination and communication, as well as at exploitation of the project results.


Timeline

Explore the timeline to learn more about GrowBot activities' status

Work packages' timelines.

WP1 Management

[M1-M54] - WP ongoing

WP2 Tutorials and design specifications

[M1-M6] - WP completed

WP3 Climbing plants observation and modelling

[M1-M30] - WP completed

WP4 Smart materials for growing process and attachment solutions

[M7-M27] - WP completed

WP5 Embodied additive manufacturing mechanisms for growing robots

[M7-M27] - WP completed

WP6 Robot sensory-motor architectures

[M7-M27] - WP completed

WP7 Plant-robot interfaces for biohybrid energy generation

[M7-M27] - WP completed

WP8 Integration

[M28-M42] - WP ongoing

WP9 Experimental validation

[M36-M54] - WP to be started

WP10 Community building

[M1-M54] - WP ongoing

WP11 Dissemination, Communication, and Exploitation

[M1-M54] - WP ongoing

  • WP1 Management

    [M1-M54] - WP ongoing

  • WP2 Tutorials and design specifications

    [M1-M6] - WP completed

  • WP3 Climbing plants observation and modelling

    [M1-M30] - WP completed

  • WP4 Smart materials for growing process and attachment solutions

    [M7-M27] - WP completed

  • WP5 Embodied additive manufacturing mechanisms for growing robots

    [M7-M27] - WP completed

  • WP6 Robot sensory-motor architectures

    [M7-M27] - WP completed

  • WP7 Plant-robot interfaces for biohybrid energy generation

    [M7-M27] - WP completed

  • WP8 Integration

    [M28-M42] - WP ongoing

  • WP9 Experimental validation

    [M36-M54] - WP to be started

  • WP10 Community building

    [M1-M54] - WP ongoing

  • WP11 Dissemination, Communication, and Exploitation

    [M1-M54] - WP ongoing

GROWBOT
FET Proactive: emerging paradigms and communities
Research and Innovation Action Grant agreement n. 824074