The WGs are one of the most exciting parts of the FRR. They are the place where members come together to network, brainstorm and essentially to achieve the practical goals of the FRR. The central focus of the WGs, in the long term, is to produce documents that can contribute to the formation of policy for robots. The work of the WGs is not limited to this, however, and WGs can also: organize workshops on their theme, publish journal and newspaper articles together, conduct outreach activities to raise public awareness, and raise funding for PhD/post doc positions. Check out the working groups below!
Robots as Moral Machines
We will address the issues related to robots designed to be moral agents. Such robots may be in a variety of application domains and are intended to act in ways that represent ethical theories when applied in context. In other words, ethical theories are translated into code for the robot.
Notable Members: Kate Darling
We will address the controversial and morally charged domain of sex robots. Should there be a ban on such an application? If so, how is this to be justified and enforced? If not, how are we to regulate moving forward with this industry and furthermore who is responsible for monitoring and regulating such uses?
Defining Responsible Robotics
This WG will focus on the definition of responsible robotics across multiple contexts of development, stages of development, robot prototypes, interfaces, and ranges of capabilities. We take as our starting point that robots are only as responsible as the humans who build and make them and from this perspective we will outline the scope of responsibility and accountability as it relates to the human designers, manufacturers, and users.
Robots in Agriculture
We will address the booming use of robots in the application domain of agriculture. From robots for the milking of cows to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for monitoring crop production and water levels these robots are expected to lead the market in the coming years.
Notable Members: Naho Kitano
We will address the overall application area of professional and personal service robots (aka robots outside the factory setting). These robots will have to interact and even cooperate with humans in the unpredictable environment in which humans live and work in. There are a variety of policy issues to address from the standards and policy to regulate these robots to the social impact issues of robots replacing and displacing humans in the workplace.
One of the more ethically charged classes of robots are those with social capabilities intended to form long term relationships with human users over time. On a less invasive front, these robots are also embedded with such capabilities to increase the pleasure and acceptability of the human-robot experience. This WG will address the issues at large related to social robots including but not limited to: companionship with robots, projection of emotions onto robots, deception by robots, and robots perceiving emotions.
Search and Rescue Robots
Notable Members: Robin Murphy
We will address the issues related to the use of robots in search and rescue applications. Some writers have gone as far as to say that it is unethical not to use robots for dangerous missions that would otherwise put the lives of humans at risk. How are we to draft policy for such considerations and what are are the limits for the use of such robots?
Policing and Military
We will address the issues related to robots used in policing and military contexts. It has often been noted that police forces are experiencing a trend towards militarization when considering the types of weapons being used. Do robots contribute to this trend? Added to this, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles has shown to be a worthy tool for collecting information on potential assailants, monitoring crowd behavior, and policing from a distance. What does responsible robotics means for a policing and/or a military context?
Notable Members: Michael Nagenborg
We will address robots in the urban environment used to build, maintain, and to demolish, buildings and infrastructures. The integration of these robots may raise questions about how to design the urbanspace to allow for and facilitate human-robot interaction. We will also explore the concept of robot zones for testing and applying early robot prototypes.
Robots and Children
This WG addresses issues related to the field of robots for children. Short and long term decisions in this field will influence children’s cognitive, social and emotional development and shape their attitudes and values. How can/should we integrate robots into formal education settings? How can/should we design child-robot interactions? How might robotics impact children in developing countries?
Governance Frameworks for Robotics
Robots will cause accidents. Robust governance frameworks and bodies for robotics and autonomous systems that embrace standards, safety certification, accident investigation and regulation are therefore vital. How should we structure these governance frameworks and bodies? Do we need, for example, the equivalent of an Aviation Authority for driverless vehicles?
This working group looks at potential future implications of drone technology on human beings, social practices, and society. Furthermore, the WG will address governance questions related to the development and operation of precautionary legal frameworks that connect drone design, use and policy.
Manufacturing and Industrial Robots
Be apart of a foundation that includes the biggest names in the fields of robotics and robot ethics! Our executive board includes pilosophers, roboticists, engineers and authors including: Sherry Turkle (MIT), Daniel Suarez (Author of Kill Decision), and Gianmarco Veruggio (CNR & Scuola di Robotica).
Although the Foundation for Responsible Robotics is just getting started we have serious plans for future events. Next year we are aiming to have a kickoff event where we will start to put our ideas for future events in motion. Be a part of the planning, organization, and execution of future events by joining us!