Neo-modular Systems: Architectural Principles for Cognitive Robotics

L. Stein

Modular-functional decomposition is a fundamental tenet of Computer Science. Cognitive Robotics, with strong roots in Cognitive Science and Biology, replaces modular-functional decomposition with a more opportunistic approach. Nonetheless, we can extract heuristics with both analytic and synthetic power: architectural principles for neo-modular systems. This paper describes three neo-modular principles: Imagination, Shared Grounding, and Incremental Adaptation. It includes examples of each drawn from existing systems, and concludes with an illustration of these three principles used in concert to build a system which progresses first to hand-eye coordination, then to planned complex reaching, and finally to shared attention.


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