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Robots should be capable of interacting in a cooperative and adaptive manner with their human counterparts in open-ended tasks that can change in real-time. An important aspect of the robot behavior will be the ability to acquire new knowledge of the cooperative tasks by observing and interacting with humans. The current research addresses this challenge. We present results from a cooperative human-robot interaction system that has been specifically developed for portability between different humanoid platforms, by abstraction layers at the perceptual and motor interfaces. In the perceptual domain, the resulting system is demonstrated to learn to recognize objects and to recognize actions as sequences of perceptual primitives, and to transfer this learning, and recognition, between different robotic platforms. For execution, composite actions and plans are shown to be learnt on one robot and executed successfully on a different one. Most importantly, the system provides the ability to link actions into shared plans, that form the basis of human-robot cooperation, applying principles from human cognitive development to the domain of robot cognitive systems.