This special issue is associated with the 22nd International Workshop on Robotics in the Alpe-Adria-Danube Region (RAAD2013) that took place on September 11 to 13, 2013 in Portorož, Slovenia. The RAAD conference series was established in 1992 (initially under the name RAA). At that time, RAAD played an important role towards enhancing international cooperation among neighborhood countries, while addressing the evolution of robotics from classical industrial applications to novel challenging areas such as service and humanoid robotics. Although RAAD conference got its name from a geographical region (Alpe-Adria-Danube), it was never meant to be limited to participants coming solely from this region. This aspect has grown through the years and in 2013 RAAD has got 50 papers from authors who came from 20 different countries. Invited plenary lectures have been delivered by Prof. Auke Ijspeert from EPFL (Switzerland), Prof. Alin Albu-Schäffer from DLR (Germany), and prof. I-Ming Chen from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).