This course (formerly called 'Cognitive Robotics') is about the theory and realisation of so-called intelligent agents, pieces of software that display some degree of autonomy, realised by incorporating `high-level cognitive / mental attitudes' into both modelling and implementation of this kind of software. As such, the subject of intelligent agents is at the cross-roads of the fields of artificial intelligence and mainstream computer science, in particular software engineering. These mental attitudes comprise 'informational' and 'motivational' ones and are often of the so-called BDI kind, dealing with 'beliefs', 'desires' and 'intentions' of agents. The agent concept calls for an integration of several topics in artificial intelligence, such as knowledge representation and reasoning (in particular reasoning about action and change) and planning. Agent technology, as the field is generally called, has a great potential of applications, ranging from intelligent personal assistants to e-commerce and robotics (where in the latter case often the term 'cognitive robotics' is used).
In the course we will devote much time to the philosophical and theoretical (mostly logical) foundations of the area of intelligent agents, and then go on with describing ways of realising them by special architectures and so-called agent-oriented programming languages in which one can program the 'mental states' of agents. This course presents the introductory theory for the agent-directed courses in the Master programme and is required for courses such as MAS and MAP.