In this paper, we discuss the motivation, approach, and status of a new NSF ITR project in which an adaptive working memory is investigated for robot control and learning. There is much evidence for the existence of such a memory structure in primates. Such memory is closely tied to the learning and execution of tasks, as it contributes to decision-making capabilities by focusing on essential task information and discarding distractions. We will integrate the adaptive working memory structure into a robot to explore the issues of task learning in a physical embodiment. This leads to a complex but realistic system involving perceptual systems, actuators, reasoning, and short-term and long-term memory structures. In the paper, we discuss also planned experiments intended to evaluate the utility of the adaptive working memory.