During the last years, legged robots have moved from exotic system category to the mainstream of research. The initial problem of statically stable locomotion has been mostly solved, biped robots are now commercially available and a number of dynamically stable robots have been built. However, the attention of the research community is now turned towards closing the performance gap that still separates robotic devices from their counterparts in nature. Energy efficiency, higher locomotion speeds, versatility, and robustness, are the key elements that will drive the widespread application of legged systems in real-life challenges. Therefore, this proposed research program aims at advancing the state of the art in legged locomotion through the development of novel biomimetic designs and control methods exploiting solutions provided by nature, with an emphasis in enhancing robot capabilities in venturing into rough environments. The research will benefit by employing an interdisciplinary approach, as the design and control of advanced biomimetic legged robots demands cooperation between scientists and engineers and approaching the subject from different and complementary points of view. Additional aims include: (a) the training of high calibre young researchers and engineers, (b) the dissemination of research results in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and the further establishment of team position and reputation in the research community, (c) the presentation of results to the media, in exhibitions, and the Internet, aiming at inspiring and attracting young people to science and technology and at familiarizing the Greek society with advanced robotics.