Cognitive robotics is where the frontier of science meets that of technology. Neuroscience focuses on the nature of neurons and the brain. Cognitive science studies the nature of the human mind. It is a contemporary effort of science to bridge the gap between the neuron and the mind, and to explain the workings of the human mind as a whole. The challenge of this study lies on the definition and representation ofmind, as well as on the difficulty of performing repeatable experiments.
Robotics provides scientists with a means to reproduce experiments for testing their theoretical hypotheses. Recent advances of robotics technology have made possible the development of complex anthropomorphic mechanical systems. The application of such technology is unlimited and will cover all aspects of human life. The grand challenge of cognitive robotics is on achieving natural and intelligent interaction of robots with humans. A variety of hypotheses in neuroscience and cognitive science suggest possible constructive paths for sharing information between the robotics systems themselves, and with humans.
The ESF-JSPS Frontier Science Conference Series for Young Researchers will illuminate the crossroads of science and technology by inviting young researchers who are actively working in the fields of cognitive science and robotics, as well as those who are interested in learning these subjects. The lecturers are eminent researchers leading the fields in Europe and Japan. The week-long series of lectures, discussions, and communication aim not only at providing young researchers with the state-of-the-art knowledge, but also at injecting them the fuel of intellectual curiosity to go beyond the crossroads.