Minds and Machines

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 169–178

Robosemantics: How Stanley the Volkswagen Represents the World


DOI: 10.1007/s11023-008-9098-2

Cite this article as:
Parisien, C. & Thagard, P. Minds & Machines (2008) 18: 169. doi:10.1007/s11023-008-9098-2


One of the most impressive feats in robotics was the 2005 victory by a driverless Volkswagen Touareg in the DARPA Grand Challenge. This paper discusses what can be learned about the nature of representation from the car’s successful attempt to navigate the world. We review the hardware and software that it uses to interact with its environment, and describe how these techniques enable it to represent the world. We discuss robosemantics, the meaning of computational structures in robots. We argue that the car constitutes a refutation of semantic arguments against the possibility of strong artificial intelligence.


RoboticsRepresentationSemanticsIntentionalityBayesian networks

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy, Faculty of ArtsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada