The vision of robotics in the home promises increased convenience, comfort, companionship and greater security for users. The robot industry risks causing harm to users…
The vision of robotics in the home promises increased convenience, comfort, companionship and greater security for users. The robot industry risks causing harm to users, being rejected by society at large or being regulated in overly prescriptive ways if robots are not developed in a socially responsible manner. The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the challenges and requirements for designing responsible domestic robots.
The paper examines definitions of robotics and the current commercial state of the art. In particular, it considers the emerging technological trends, such as smart homes, that are already embedding computational agents in the fabric of everyday life. The paper then explores the role of values in design, aligning with human computer interaction, and considers the importance of the home as a deployment setting for robots. The paper examines what responsibility in robotics means and draws lessons from past home information technologies. An exploratory pilot survey was conducted to understand user concerns about different aspects of domestic robots such as form, privacy and trust. The paper provides these findings, married with literature analysis from across technology law, computer ethics and computer science.
By drawing together both empirical observations and conceptual analysis, this paper concludes that user centric design is needed to create responsible domestic robotics in the future.
This multidisciplinary paper provides conceptual and empirical research from different domains to unpack the challenges of designing responsible domestic robotics. In doing this, the paper seeks to bridge the gap between the normative dimensions of how responsible robots should be built, and the practical dimensions of how people want to live with them in context.