The USC Center for Robotics and Embedded
Systems published an interesting dissertation by Evan Drumwright
titled "The Task
Matrix: A Robot-Independent Framework for Programming Humanoids"
(PDF format). In the paper, Drumwright attempts to separate humanoid
robot tasks into robot-dependent and robot-independent tasks. The goal
is to improve software reuse by identifying a primitive task set for
humanoids that allow a broad range of higher level tasks. He also
provides an example of an XML posture description language. For more,
see Drumwright's Task Matrix
webpage, which includes videos of
simulated robots expressing various postures and movements.