UAS – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (European Legislation)

The European UAS legislation group are meeting on the 9.2.12 to discuss and quite probably enshrine laws to regulate the commercial and private use of flying robots (drones etc). As these robots become more affordable, sophisticated and available for private ownership (not withstanding commercial/authority use) legislation has become inevitable. The real interest here though is; could this legislation become the forerunner for legislation & regulation of social robots. Could it influence or even determine the way we accept robots into European airspace as well as society in general, whether flying, on wheels, tracks or even walking within our social, domestic, health and workplace spaces. For instance, could my telepresence mobile home robot go out and check on my car across the road or even perhaps go to my local shop for some milk causing a fatal accident? With Wifi and telepresence enabled navigation this is possible right now!

So how do we legislate against a robotic assault,  thief or spy when the defence offered is “somebody else hacked into my robot” or “it was an unforeseeable  technical glitch” let alone “no civilians were killed in this CIA drone attack”

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Anybots tele-presence robot extends the surveillance type model into the workplace. Perhaps the Panopticon effect will become the first major commercial breakthrough for mobile robots – not at $15,000 though?

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Robotics Retreat

Important developments regarding the future of robotics and the subsequent robots in our homes and lives. The Robotics Retreat (EPSRC) initiative has outlined some general principles of robotics which can be viewed here. As robots are embedded within the social spaces of care, companionship, service and assistance, a governance framework of ethics, suitability and responsibility is clearly essential. This initiative or symposium will therefore become vital as a bridge between public consumerism and the robotics industry in the very near future.

NAO on the Engadget Show

The video below is a very impressive display of Alderbaran‘s NAO on the Engadget show. It’s interesting that doubts about humanoid robots are raised on this video, when NAO is such a good example. However, even in the face of such robotic advancements seen in NAO I still can’t seem to avoid a distinct uneasiness concerning robotic slavery. A little electro-mechanical woman/man who does everything that I can’t be bothered to do or don’t like doing is strangely unsettling. It clearly has no feelings or emotions regarding it’s own drudgery and yet I do and I certainly don’t have those anthropomorphic feelings regarding the dishwasher – so why so for humanoid robots?


Their website seems a little out of date. However, having just discovered this project a new post seemed appropriate. I’m not quite sure I fully understand their approach or indeed this statement from their About Us page which says they want “to investigate how socially situated development can be brought to robots that grow up and adapt to humans in everyday environments.”  I get the feeling that something is slightly lost in translation here. The notion that I may have to wait for my new and very expensive robot to ‘grow up’ is not quite what I was expecting? More importantly, there are some really good papers on their link for Publications and lastly, their conviction that interdiciplinarity is the way forward for robotics definitely works for Sociorobotics.

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FEELIX GROWING, posted with vodpod

BBC Horizon – Where’s My Robot? (2008)

Danny Wallace takes a cynical look at contemporary robotic technology but eventually concludes that the robot we have all been expecting may not be too far away.

The following sequence of short films are from

The following films are all taken from which looks at robots from alternative perspectives, is it art or sci-fi or both and yet so much more!!

The Machine – Stunning!

The Machine is a beautiful short film with a familiar story of machines taking over the world.

Moonrush – ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’!

Robots that can ‘mine the moon’ – Not content with stripping all of the Earth’s resources, we are now going to send robots to the moon for its mineral wealth.

I wonder if that could alter the tides in anyway?