In this paper, a model based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) extends the symbol grounding mechanism to abstract words for cognitive robots. The aim of this work is to obtain a semantic representation of abstract concepts through the grounding in sensorimotor experiences for a humanoid robotic platform. Simulation experiments have been developed on a software environment for the iCub robot. Words that express general actions with a sensorimotor component are first taught to the simulated robot. During the training stage the robot first learns to perform a set of basic action primitives through the mechanism of direct grounding. Subsequently, the grounding of action primitives, acquired via direct sensorimotor experience, is transferred to higher-order words via linguistic descriptions. The idea is that by combining words grounded in sensorimotor experience the simulated robot can acquire more abstract concepts. The experiments aim to teach the robot the meaning of abstract words by making it experience sensorimotor actions. The iCub humanoid robot will be used for testing experiments on a real robotic architecture.
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