This conference will focus on the latest developments in Drosophila systems neuroscience and their application to biomimetics and biorobotics. It follows the successful 2010 ESF-EMBO symposium "Functional Neurobiology in Minibrains" (meeting report: Cobb, EMBO reports 2011, 389), which fostered new interactions within an interdisciplinary community of molecular biologists, ecologists and engineers. The meeting will explore progress made during the past 4 years towards a multi-level understanding of how the fly brain functions. We will examine how behaviour emerges from neural circuit computations, how these principles can inspire new technologies and how biologists can benefit from robotics to rigorously test mechanistic hypotheses. As this undertaking necessitates new methods, we will include researchers on another genetic model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, in which many interdisciplinary approaches have been pioneered that could be readily transferred to Drosophila.