A Survey of the Ontogeny of Tool Use: From Sensorimotor Experience to Planning

Frank Guerin, Norbert Krüger, Dirk Kraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we review current knowledge on tool use development in infants in order to provide relevant information to cognitive developmental roboticists seeking to design artificial systems that develop tool use abilities. This information covers: 1) sketching developmental pathways leading to tool use competences; 2) the characterization of learning and test situations; 3) the crystallization of seven mechanisms underlying the developmental process; and 4) the formulation of a number of challenges and recommendations for designing artificial systems that exhibit tool use abilities in complex contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-45
Number of pages28
JournalIEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013



  • Developmental psychology
  • Developmental robotics
  • Infant behavior
  • Tool use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software

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