Cognitive Robotics can be defined as the study of cognitive phenomena by their modeling in physical artifacts such as robots. This is a very lively and fascinating field which has already given fundamental contributions to our understanding of natural cognition. Nonetheless, robotics has to date addressed mainly very basic, lowlevel cognitive phenomena like sensorymotor coordination, perception, and navigation, and it is not clear how the current approach might scale up to explain highlevel human cognition. In this paper we argue that a promising way to do that is to merge current ideas and methods of 'embodied cognition' with the Russian tradition of theoretical psychology which views language not only as a communication system but also as a cognitive tool, that is by developing a Vygotskyan Cognitive Robotics. We substantiate this idea by discussing several domains in which language can improve basic cognitive abilities and permit the development of highlevel cognition: learning, categorization, abstraction, memory, voluntary control, and mental life.