This robot grows itself like a vine

FiloBot is a new kind of robot that grows itself like a vine. Developed by researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, the robot's head contains 3D printing technology. A thin hose feeds the head with plastic filament that the robot then uses to elongate its body. A lovely example of biomimicry, the robot "draws inspiration from the behavioral adaptive strategies of climbing plants to navigate unstructured environments," according to the researchers' scientific paper. Video demo below.

"We are fascinated by the multiple different features of plants that enable them to conquer very challenging and mutable environment," lead engineer Emanuela Del Dottore told Nature.

Right now, FiloBot's grows verrrrrrrry slowly, a few millimeters per minute. According to Del Dottore, slow growth (albeit maybe not that slow) this could be a feature not a bug as its gentle expansion could be useful if it's crawling through unstable buildings during search-and-rescue operations. Eventually, similar technology could enable infrastructure to build itself.