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This contribution demonstrates the realization of a cognitive-oriented architecture to build autonomous systems. A special situation-operator-model, developed to model the human-machine-interaction, is used to structure the reality and map this structuring to a mental model of the system to enable planning and learning. The presented architecture builds the framework for autonomous behavior, where the mental model of the system is maintained and refined by the cognitive functions. The steps to realize the proposed architecture are illustrated and detailed for a mobile robot as an example of a cognitive technical system. The application of this modeling technique to autonomously build and update a mental model of the interaction with the environment is demonstrated in detail.