Humans have an innate tendency to anthropomorphize surrounding entities and have always been fascinated by the creation of machines endowed with human-inspired capabilities and traits. In the last few decades, this has become a reality with enormous advances in hardware performance, computer graphics, robotics technology, and artificial intelligence. New interdisciplinary research fields have brought forth cognitive robotics aimed at building a new generation of control systems and providing robots with social, empathetic and affective capabilities. This paper presents the design, implementation, and test of a human-inspired cognitive architecture for social robots. State-of-the-art design approaches and methods are thoroughly analyzed and discussed, cases where the developed system has been successfully used are reported. The tests demonstrated the system’s ability to endow a social humanoid robot with human social behaviors and with in-silico robotic emotions.