, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 355-357,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 30 Jul 2011

Robots and Other Cognitive Systems: Challenges and European Responses

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Robots have come a long way since the Czech writer Karel Čapek first used this term, some 90 years ago, to denote rather frightening creatures—not unlike Golems or Frankenstein's monster, yet workers all the same. Today, more than ever, robots continue to fascinate: they take over activities which humans find too dangerous or impossible. For example, the recent use of robots at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant or in the recovery of the flight recorder of Air France's Rio de Janeiro–Paris flight which went down in deep seas in 2009. They go to war and deactivate mines. And they increasingly come into our homes as children's toys, almost like family pets!

In just a few years, technological progress in this area has been tremendous and Europe is one of the leaders in this research and industrial application. Yet, this is just the beginning of the robot history as many challenges remain to be addressed. Refining and improving the mechanics of robots and their sensorial capacities (incl ...