PACO-PLUS is an integrated Project funded by the European Commission through its Cognition Unit under the Information Society Technologies of the sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The project was launched on 1st of February 2006 and will run for a total of 48 months.
PACO-PLUS brings together an interdisciplinary research team to design and build cognitive robots capable of developing perceptual, behavioural and cognitive categories that can be used, communicated and shared with other humans and artificial agents. To demonstrate our approach we are building robot systems that will display increasingly advanced cognitive capabilities over the course of the programme. They will learn to operate in the real world and to interact and communicate with humans. To do this they must model and reflectively reason about their perceptions and actions in order to learn, act and react appropriately. We hypothesize that such understanding can only be attained by embodied agents and requires the simultaneous consideration of perception and action.Our approach rests on three foundational assumptions:
- Objects and Actions are inseparably intertwined in cognitive processing; that is “Object-Action Complexes” (OACs) are the building blocks of cognition.
- Cognition is based on reflective learning, contextualizing and then reinterpreting OACs to learn more abstract OACs, through a grounded sensing and action cycle.
- The core measure of effectiveness for all learned cognitive structures is: Do they increase situation reproducibility and/or reduce situational uncertainty in ways that allow the agent to achieve its goals?