We explore the physics of living systems, of biological matter and of soft condensed matter, as well as biological information processing, computer vision and neural control strategies. We study a wide variety of systems, from single motor proteins to cells, from virus particles to cells lining blood vessels, from colloids to tissues, from simple to complex neural networks and control structures. We employ a large arsenal of modern experimental techniques, fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, optical trapping, microrheology, stereo vision, physics simulations and different robotic platforms to name a few. Our goal is to understand how a cell works and how many cells in an organism collaborate, from the microscopic molecular mechanisms to larger scale collective processes. We also want to achieve a better understanding of the general control and plasticity principles in neural motor function, of how human-like manipulations can be recognized, learned, and performed in robotics and of the interaction between activity and plasticity in closed loop control structures.