The Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) is a Research Foundation, founded in 2006, to promote scientific excellence in “Humanoid” technology with a focus of 4 key technological platforms (Neurosciences, Nanobiotechnologies, Drug Discovery Development and Robotics). The Institute currently has over 600 researchers with over 160 working exclusively in the area of robotics. The humanoid robot iCub is “manufactured” at IIT. The Department of Advanced Robotics comprises more than 70 staff at all research levels from Ph.d (17) to Full Professors (4). Research activities in the department concentrate on an innovative, often biologically inspired, multidisciplinary approach to humanoid design and control, and the development of novel robotic components and technologies. It combines activities from both the hard (mechanical/ electrical design and fabrication, sensor systems, actuation development etc.) and soft (control, computer software, human factors etc) systems areas of robotics. While mimicking biological principles does not necessarily lead to the development of optimal systems the core departmental philosophy is that the merging of multiple, diverse technologies will facilitate a transition from traditional (hard-bodied) robots towards a new generation of hybrid systems combining engineering principles such as speed, robustness, accuracy, and endurance with biologically inspired concepts that aim to emulate the ’softer’ compliant structure of muscle, bone, tendons and skin to provide robots with the capacity for self-repair, regeneration, redundancy etc. It is believed that this synergetic combination will lead to new advanced; Actuation and Energy/Power Systems, Interfaces and Interaction Technologies, Sensing, Intelligence and Control, and Structures, Materials and Mechanisms.