Much is being done in an attempt to transfer emotional mechanisms from reverse-engineered biology into social robots. There are two basic approaches: the imitative display of emotion -e.g. to intend more human-like robots- and the provision of architectures with intrinsic emotion -in the hope of enhancing behavioral aspects. This paper focuses on the second approach, describing a core vision regarding the integration of cognitive, emotional and autonomic aspects in social robot systems. This vision has evolved as a result of the efforts in consolidating the models extracted from rat emotion research and their implementation in technical use cases based on a general systemic analysis in the framework of the ICEA and C3 projects. The desire for generality of the approach intends obtaining universal theories of integrated -autonomic, emotional, cognitive- behavior. The proposed conceptualizations and architectural principles are then captured in a theoretical framework: ASys - The Autonomous Systems Framework.