Robotics is undergoing a major transformation in scope and dimension. From a largely dominant industrial focus, robotics is rapidly expanding into human en- ronments and vigorously engaged in its new challenges. Interacting with, assi- ing, serving, and exploring with humans, the emerging robots will increasingly touch people and their lives. Beyond its impact on physical robots, the body of knowledge robotics has p- duced is revealing a much wider range of applications reaching across diverse research areas and scientific disciplines, such as: biomechanics, haptics, neuros- ences, virtual simulation, animation, surgery, and sensor networks among others. In return, the challenges of the new emerging areas are proving an abundant source of stimulation and insights for the field of robotics. It is indeed at the int- section of disciplines that the most striking advances happen. The Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR) is devoted to bringing to the research community the latest advances in the robotics field on the basis of their significance and quality. Through a wide and timely dissemination of critical - search developments in robotics, our objective with this series is to promote more exchanges and collaborations among the researchers in the community and c- tribute to further advancements in this rapidly growing field.