How do we work?

The CoTeSys cluster of excellence investigates cognition for technical systems such as robots, machines, factories, or mobile systems.

Cognitive technical systems are equipped with artificial sensors and actuators, integrated and embedded into physical systems, and act in a physical world. They differ from other technical systems in that they perform cognitive control and have cognitive capabilities.

Cognitive control orchestrates reflexive and habitual behavior in accord with longterm intentions. Cognitive capabilities such as perception, reasoning, learning, and planning turn technical systems into ones that "know what they are doing".

More specifically, a cognitive technical system becomes a technical system "that can reason using substantial amounts of appropriately represented knowledge, learn from its experience so that it performs better tomorrow than it did today, explain itself and be told what to do, be aware of its own capabilities and reflect on its own behavior, and respond robustly to surprise". Technical systems that are cognitive in this sense will be much easier to interact and cooperate with, be robust, flexible, and efficient. Three demonstrative scenarios are pursued (Research Area F): cognitive aerial and terrestrial vehicles, cognitive humanoid robots, and cognitive factories. CoTeSys organizes and structures the intended interplay of disciplines, institutes, research foci, and demonstration test beds in the following way.