In the past few years, we have covered plenty of nature inspired robots here. University of Minnesota researchers have come with with an approach to enable soft robots to grow like plants to navigate hard to reach places like pipes. As they explain:
Plants use water to transport the building blocks that get transformed into solid roots as the plant grows outward. The researchers were able to mimic this process with synthetic material using a technique called photopolymerization, which uses light to transform liquid monomers into a solid material. Using this technology, the soft robot can more easily navigate obstacles and winding paths without having to drag any solid material behind it.
This approach can be used one day to build robots that grow like plants to navigate within the human body. More info is available here.