nl en

Cognitive Robotics


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


Cognitive robotics is the study of building robots that show intelligent behavior. Cognitive robotics emphasizes the emergence or learning of intelligence, instead of preprogramming robot behavior. This course will discuss the history of cognitive robotics (e.g. embedded cognition, subsumption architectures, Braitenberg's Vehicles, neural controllers, reality gap), the discipline's theoretical background (e.g. the importance of representations, the role of the environment), and students will gain hands-on experience with designing and programming robots of increasing complexity.

Course objectives

  • Students know how cognitive robotics differs from other disciplines in robotics, and know advantages and disadvantages of the different disciplines in robotics.

  • Students are familiar with designing and implementing different controllers and can implement basic feedforward and feedback architectures.

  • Students can systematically analyze the behavior of a robot and document their findings in a lab report.

  • Students can independently study a topic in cognitive robotics and write an academic paper on it.


The most updated version of the timetables can be found on the students' website:

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudymap will automatically be displayed in MyTimetable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Pleas note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of 14 lectures and 14 lab sessions. Students will write four lab reports in small groups, and will individually write a paper.

Assessment method

The final grade for this course is a weighted average of:

  • three best out of four lab reports (50%)

  • a paper on a topic in cognitive robotics (50%)

The lecturer will inform students about the review of the assessments.

Reading list

Capita selecta.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudymap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ on MyStudymap can be found here.


Course coordinator: dr. ir. Roy de Kleijn


Not applicable.