Welcome to my personal website.

I am a researcher at the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IAI), University of Bremen, working on cognitive robotics. The group here is developing cognition-enabled robots that can engage in everyday activities, e.g. setting a table for a meal and cooking food. This is made possible by the CRAM (Cognitive Robot Abstract Machine) cognitive architecture and the KnowRob knowledge base.

Prior to this, I spent over three years at Carnegie Mellon University Africa in Rwanda where I taught cognitive robotics, artificial cognitive systems, applied computer vision, and data structures and algorithms for engineers. Before that, I worked at the University of Skövde, Sweden, and before that as a researcher at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. I spent ten years in the UAE working for Etisalat College of Engineering during which time it grew into Khalifa University. The first twenty years of my career were spent in Ireland at Westinghouse Electric, Trinity College Dublin, and Maynooth University.


My main research focus is cognitive architectures, internal simulation, and joint models of episodic, procedural, and semantic memory.


I am also interested in autonomous self-organizing systems, specifically systems the exhibit circular causality and recursive self-maintenance.

I serve as one of the co-chairs of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Technical Committee for Cognitive Robotics which received the 2017 RAS Most Active Technical Committee Award.


As part of the outreach actiivities the IEEE Technical Committee for Cognitive Robotics, I am developing an introductory course on cognitive robotics which will be available for use by the community. The course covers both the essentials of classical robotics and the principles of cognition, including practical and detailed material based on the CRAM cognitive architecture.

This project is partially funded by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society under the program Creation of Educational Material in Robotics and Automation (CEMRA).

The finished course will be launched at the end of 2020 but an alpha version is available now at cognitiverobotics.net.


Email: davidvernon.eu.


Artificial Cognitive Systems - A Primer, was published by MIT Press in 2014. A Chinese edition will be published this year. The main narrative walks you through the different facets of this complex field, bringing together recent work in cognitive science and cognitive robotics. From this you get a solid grounding on key issues. This narrative is supported by explanatory sidenotes that provide a gloss on issues of particular importance along with references for further reading.  

"This volume fills a serious void in the literature on artificial cognition, spanning a wide range of past work and helping the reader assess the rich array of approaches that have been taken to constructing cognitive systems. It will be an essential text for anyone who seeks to advance work in this field."

ACM Computing Reviews
Review #: CR143563 (1509-0767)