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In this paper, we discuss the requirements of cognitive architectures for epigenetic robotics, and highlight the wider role that they can play in the development of the cognitive sciences. We discuss the ambitious goals of ongoing development, scalability, concept use and transparency, and introduce the epigenetic robotics architecture (ERA) as a framework guiding modeling efforts. A formal implementation is provided, demonstrated, and discussed in terms of meeting these goals. Extensions of the architecture are also introduced and we show how the dynamics of resulting models can transparently account for a wide range of psychological phenomena, without task dependant tuning, thereby making progress in all of the goal areas we highlight.