Vivian M. De La cruz, Alessandro Di Nuovo, Santo Di Nuovo

Fingers and words to count: A cognitive robot learns sums

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Embodied Cognition; Developmental Robotics; Finger Counting; Number Words; Numerical Cognition.

Finger counting activity has been claimed to help build motor-based representations of number that continue to influence number processing well into adulthood, facilitating the emergence of number concepts from sensorimotor experience through a bottom-up process. Counting also involves the acquisition and use of a verbal number system, of which, number words are the basic building blocks. The use of fingers does not necessarily precede the use of language in the acquisition of a symbolic numerical system, but evidence indicates that the coupled experience of both, helps get children on their way to understanding how numbers work. Using a Cognitive Developmental Robotics paradigm we present results of an exploration on whether finger counting and the association of number words (or tags) to the fingers, could serve to bootstrap the representation of number in a cognitive robot. We also discuss how we extended these results, implementing a strategy based on finger counting and number words, which allows the robot to execute simple addition problems, and we compare the performance of the simulated robotic platform with that of the physical robotic platform.

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