, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 89–98 | Cite as

Enaction as a conceptual framework for developmental cognitive robotics

  • David VernonEmail author
Research Article


This paper provides an accessible introduction to the cognitive systems paradigm of enaction and shows how it forms a practical framework for robotic systems that can develop cognitive abilities. The principal idea of enaction is that a cognitive system develops it own understanding of the world around it through its interactions with the environment. Thus, enaction entails that the cognitive system operates autonomously and that it generates its own models of how the world works. A discussion of the five key elements of enaction - autonomy, embodiment, emergence, experience, and sense-making - leads to a core set of functional, organizational, and developmental requirements which are then used in the design of a cognitive architecture for the iCub humanoid robot.


enaction enactive systems cognition autonomy embodiment emergence experience sense-making 


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Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Robotics, Brain, and Cognitive SciencesItalian Institute of TechnologyGenoaItaly

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