Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climbing like ivy

26.02.2019

The project “GrowBot” is developing plant-inspired robots

How is it that ivy, Virginia creeper and clematis can climb? How high is their energy consumption? And is it possible to build robots that behave and move like these plants?


Scientists from the “GrowBot” project are pursuing answers to these questions. For the next four years, their research will be funded with around seven million euros by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 program line FET (Future and Emerging Technologies).

The main goal of the research groups involved in “GrowBot,” such as the team led by biologist Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck from the University of Freiburg, is the development of robots that climb like plants and adapt to their surrounding environment.

In the future, these robots will be used in urban development, for example, to install sensors or support archaeological investigations.

Dr. Barbara Mazzolai, research director at the Micro-Bio Robotics Center of the IIT (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologie) in Pontedera, Italy, coordinates the project. Plantoid, the world’s first plant robot inspired by the growth behavior of plant roots and their movements, was created under her leadership in 2012.

"GrowBot" focuses on transferring the skills of climbers who can find suitable support structures with their climbing stems and orient themselves and move within them. Thanks to their different anchoring strategies, the plants can attach themselves to different surfaces.

The Freiburg subproject from Speck, the head of the Plant Biomechanics Group and director of the Botanic Garden at the University of Freiburg, is funded with approximately 700,000 euros. The Freiburg scientists have long been analyzing the stem structure and mechanics of climbing plants and their different attachment systems. They have already transferred their results into bio-inspired applications.

The botanists are working together with Dr. Nicholas Rowe from the Institute of Botany and Bioinformatics of Plant Architecture (Botanique et bioinformatique de l’architecture des plantes, UMR – AMAP) in Montpellier, France, on the investigations on climbing plants that are now beginning to provide ideas for a new movement paradigm for “soft robotics.” Together, they will analyze and abstract the functional principles of climbing plants in order to advance the development of novel climbing robots.

“GrowBot” brings together researchers from the fields of robotics, botany, mathematics, materials science and computer science from theUniversity of Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany), HZG- Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Zentrum Für Material- und Küstenforschung (Teltow, Germany), IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Pontedera, Italy), SSSA- Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Pontedera, Italy), GSSI - Gran Sasso Science Institute (L’Aquila, Italy), Linari Engineering Srl (Pisa, Italy), Tel Aviv University (Tel Aviv, Israel), CNRS-Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (Montpellier, France) and Arkyne Technologies SL (Barcelona, Spain).

“GrowBot” project Website
www.growbot.eu 

Twitter channel
www.twitter.com/GrowBot_project

Facebook page www.facebook.com/growbotproject/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Instagram channel
www.instagram.com/growbot_project/

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck
Plant Biomechanics Group
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-2875
thomas.speck@biologie.uni-freiburg.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.pr.uni-freiburg.de/pm-en/press-releases-2018/climbing-like-ivy?set_l...

Rudolf-Werner Dreier | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Battery research at Graz University of Technology: new breakthroughs in research on super-batteries
25.04.2019 | Technische Universität Graz

nachricht Energy-saving new LED phosphor
24.04.2019 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Full speed ahead for SmartEEs at Automotive Interiors Expo 2019

Flexible, organic and printed electronics conquer everyday life. The forecasts for growth promise increasing markets and opportunities for the industry. In Europe, top institutions and companies are engaged in research and further development of these technologies for tomorrow's markets and applications. However, access by SMEs is difficult. The European project SmartEEs - Smart Emerging Electronics Servicing works on the establishment of a European innovation network, which supports both the access to competences as well as the support of the enterprises with the assumption of innovations and the progress up to the commercialization.

It surrounds us and almost unconsciously accompanies us through everyday life - printed electronics. It starts with smart labels or RFID tags in clothing, we...

Im Focus: Energy-saving new LED phosphor

The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-efficiency thermoelectric materials: New insights into tin selenide

25.04.2019 | Materials Sciences

Salish seafloor mapping identifies earthquake and tsunami risks

25.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Using DNA templates to harness the sun's energy

25.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>