Cognitive Robotics Resources

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What is Cognition?

42 definitions of cognition ... it has proved difficult to define cognition: read Aaron Sloman's argument that it isn't worth trying (go to the end of the article)
A definition of a cognitive system from the Springer Reference Guide to Computer Vision
What is Cognition? in Current Biology 29, R603-R622, 2019
Cognitive Robotics, Sandini et al., in Encyclopedia of Robotics, M. Ang, O. Khatib, and B. Siciliano (Eds.), Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, in press.


IEEE Guide to the World of Robots

Symposia and Workshops

AIC - Artificial Intelligence and Cognition International Workshop Series
New.jpg Cognitive Architectures for Robot Agents, 2021, with videos of 15 short talks by leading experts
International Foundation for Robotics Research Colloquium on Cognitive Robotics, 8 October 2020; the video proceedings are here
New.jpg Teaching & Training Students for Cognitive Robotics, International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS, Detroit, USA, 1-5 October, 2023
Virtual International Symposium on Cognitive Architecture (VISCA 2021), with videos and slides, including a session on robot cognitive architectures.

Cognitive Architectures

Design Principles Articles

Design principles for biologically inspired cognitive robotics
Desiderata for Developmental Cognitive Architectures
A Standard Model of the Mind, now referred to as a Common Model of Cognition

Survey Articles

I. Kotseruba and J. Tsotsos (2020). 40 years of cognitive architectures: core cognitive abilities and practical applications
Companion website for 40 years of cognitive architectures: core cognitive abilities and practical applications
Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Society (BICA) comparison of 25 cognitive architectures
B. Goertzl et al. (2010). A world survey of artificial brain projects, Part II: Biologically inspired cognitive architectures
Summaries of twenty cognitive architectures from D. Vernon, C. von Hofsten, and L. Fadiga. "A Roadmap for Cognitive Development in Humanoid Robots", Cognitive Systems Monographs (COSMOS), Vol. 11, Springer, 2010.

Individual Architecture Articles

MECA The Multipurpose Enhanced Cognitive Architecture (MECA)
MECA An Overview of the Multipurpose Enhanced Cognitive Architecture (MECA)
iCub The iCub Software Architecture: Evolution and Lessons Learned; not a cognitive architecture but relevant to the system architecture / software architecture aspects relevant to the implementation of a cognitive architecture.
iCub iCub-HRI: A Software Framework for Complex Human–Robot Interaction Scenarios on the iCub Humanoid Robot ibid.


Symbolic / Cognitivist

SPA (Semantic Pointer Architecture) in Nengo

The iCog Initiative

Presentations, Talks, Lectures

Yann LeCun Cake Analogy 2.0

Lectures from Cognitive Robotics at
Module 7, Lecture 1. Role and requirements; desirable characteristics; core cognitive abilities.
Module 7, Lecture 2. Cognitive architectures: Example cognitive architectures: Example cognitive architectures: Soar, ACT-R, CLARION, ICARUS, BBD, ISAC.
Module 7, Lecture 3. The CRAM cognitive architecture: design principles; structure.
Module 7, Lecture 4. The CRAM cognitive architecture: operation.

Lectures from Artificial Cognitive Systems at
Lecture 7: Cognitive Architectures 1: What is a cognitive architecture? Desirable characteristics. Designing a cognitive architecture.
Lecture 8: Cognitive Architectures 2: Example cognitive architectures: Soar, ACT/R, ICARUS, Global Workspace, SASE, Darwin.
Lecture 9: Cognitive Architectures 3: Example cognitive architectures: ISAC.
Lecture 10: Cognitive Architectures 4: Example cognitive architectures: CLARION.
Lecture 11: Cognitive Architectures 5: Example cognitive architectures: CRAM. The Common Model of Cognition.


New.jpg iCub Explained
New.jpg Automata: movement and states of consciousness. Compelling demonstrations of the impact of motion on the way humans understand other agents.
New.jpg Cognitive Architectures for Robot Agents: a collection of 15 talks from leading experts
The real reason for brains featuring Daniel Wolpert
Open Research and the Soar Cognitive Architecture featuring John Laird
Tutorial on the CRAM Cognitive Architecture featuring Gayane Kazhoyan
New.jpg EASE Milestone Robot Demo and a related IEEE Spectrum article: "It’s (Still) Really Hard for Robots to Autonomously Do Household Chores"
EASE Milestone Spoon Challenge
Core Knowledge of Number and Geometry featuring Elizabeth Spelke at the inaugural meeting of euCognition in 2006
New.jpg Videos from the Warneken and Tomasello (2006) paper on altruistic helping in human infants and young chimpanzees: Science, 311, 1301-1303.


Research Challenges

Social Cognition for Human-Robot Symbiosis—Challenges and Building Blocks
The limits and potentials of deep learning for robotics
Building machines that learn and think like people
Controversies in Cognitive Systems Research
A First Draft Analysis of Some Meta-Requirements for Cognitive Systems in Robots

Knowledge-based Approaches

Ontology-based Approaches to Robot Autonomy
Socio-physical Models of Activities (SOMA)

Dynamic Field Theory

New.jpg Dynamic Field Theory
New.jpg Developing Dynamic Field Theory Architectures for Embodied Cognitive Systems with cedar

Robot Platforms

openEASE Open Knowledge for AI-Enabled Robots
iCub open source cognitive humanoid robotic platform

Research Networks

TC-CORO: IEEE Technical Committee on Cognitive Robotics
EUCog: European Society for Cognitive Systems
BICA: Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Society

White Papers

New.jpg Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines: Situation Model Perspectives
Computing, cognition and the future of knowing John Kelly, Senior Vice President, IBM Research and Solutions Portfolio.
Dynamic Field Theory (DFT): Applications in Cognitive Science and Robotics
Observing Human Behaviour in Image Sequences: The Video-Hermeneutic Challenge
Cognitive Ontologies: Mapping Structure and Function of the Brain from a Systemic View
Coordinating with the Future: the Anticipatory Nature of Representation
Communication and Distributed Control in Multi-Agent Systems: Preliminary Model of Micro-unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MAV) Swarms
Enactive Artificial Intelligence
CoEvolutionary Approaches in Cognitive Robotic Systems Design
Action Selection for Intelligent Systems

Classic Papers

New.jpg Cognitive Maps in Rats and Men (if you are short of time, read the first paragraph and then the text at the end, after the last figure)


IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
Cognitive Systems Research
Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures
Cognitive Computation and Systems


Cognitive Architectures by M. Ferreira, J. Sequeira, and R. Ventura (Eds.)

Research Centers and Labs

New.jpg Center for Cognitive Robotics Fraunhofer IPA, Germany
New.jpg Cognitive Robotics and AI Lab Kent University, USA

Software Resources

EASE - Everyday Activity Science and Engineering: Open Knowledge for AI-Enabled Robots
CRAM: Cognitive Robot Abstract Machine
KnowRob: Knowledge Processing for Robots
The CLARION Cognitive Architecture Project
BECCA: Brain-Emulating Cognition and Control Architecture
AKIRA: C++ development framework to build cognitive architectures and complex artificial intelligent agents
AmonI: Artificial Models of Natural Intelligence]
CAST: The CoSy Architecture Schema Toolkit
YARP: Yet Another Robot Platform.
ROS: Robot Operating System


EASE - Everyday Activity Science and Engineering
ALFRED Benchmark for Interpreting Grounded Instructions for Everyday Tasks


New.jpg Principles of Robotics
New.jpg International Conference Series on Robot Ethics and Standards

Summer Schools

1st Summer School on Cognitive Robotics MIT 2017
2nd Summer School on Cognitive Robotics MIT 2018
3rd Summer School on Cognitive Robotics USC 2019
EASE Fall School 2021 Cognition-enabled Robot Manipulation
EASE Fall School 2022 Cognition-enabled Robot Manipulation

Teaching Resources

Learning Environments

New.jpg Interactive Learning Environment for Cognitive Robotics (INTEL4CORO)


IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine Tutorials
Tutorial on Embodiment
Control engineering of autonomous cognitive vehicles - a practical tutorial
The dynamic neural field approach to cognitive robotics
Neuronal Dynamics Approaches to Cognitive Robotics


New.jpg Human-Robot Interaction - An Introduction An online textbook by C. Bartneck, T. Belpaeme, F. Eyssel, T. Kanda, M. Keijsers, and S. Šabanović

Model Curricula

euCognition Cognitive Systems Model Curriculum
University of Skövde MSc in Cognitive Systems Model Curriculum


Introduction to Cognitive Robotics (
Artificial Cognitive Systems; teaching material for Artificial Cognitive Systems - A Primer, MIT Press, 2014; click here for additional support material.
Cognitive Computer Vision
The Construct A Platform to Learn/Teach Robotics from Zero ... everything from robotics theory to ROS based robot programming
MIT Open Courseware: Computational Cognitive Science
MIT Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM) Science of Intelligence Learning Hub
Introduction to Mobile Robotics University of Freiburg
Autonomous Mobile Robots ETH Zürich

Degrees in Cognitive Systems

The following is a sample of the Master-level degrees that are available in cognitive systems.

New.jpg Open University of Cyprus and University of Cyprus Joint Master's Degree Program in Cognitive Systems (120 ECTS)
University of Skövde, Sweden Human-Robot Interaction (120 ECTS)
University of Birmingham Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics MSc
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain Interdisciplinary Master in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media (60 ECTS)
Technical University of Munich Robotics, Cognition, and Intelligence
University of Warwick M.Sc. in Cognitive Systems
University of Zurich Master of Science in Informatics: Field of study Multimodal and Cognitive Systems

Research Networks and Societies

TC-CORO: IEEE Technical Committee on Cognitive Robotics
euCognition: European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems. This network was the first in a series of three networks, culminating in EUCog below.
EUCog: European Society for Cognitive Systems
BICA: Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Society
ESSCS: European Society for the Study of Cognitive Systems