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AJung Moon is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She recently completed her Master’s in Applied Science at UBC where she designed robots to ‘hesitate’ when it is about to collide into people. Prior to entering the world of research, she received her Honours Mechatronics Engineering degree and a minor in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo. Her interdisciplinary interests in exploring how robots affect people and how this knowledge should inform interactive robot design fuels her passion in human-robot interaction and roboethics. She has been passionate about discussing roboethics issues since undergrad, and has been blogging about social, legal, and ethical issues pertaining to robotics on Roboethics Info Database.
by   -   October 17, 2014

Earlier this year, the Robots Podcast team came across a story about two 17 year old twin sisters who started their own robotics outreach group. The story about the Tipperman sisters got us curious. What kind of robotics outreach activities are out there to inspire children? Do any of these activities make a difference in getting more girls interested in robotics?

by   -   August 20, 2014

Last week the Waterloo-based Clearpath publicly pledged not to develop lethal autonomous weapons in support of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. While the Campaign has garnered significant support since its launch, it has not previously had support from the for-profit robotics sector – making Clearpath’s public statement a noteworthy demonstration of corporate responsibility, particularly given the company’s background in military applications.

by   -   June 14, 2014

Human-robot interaction is a fascinating field of research in robotics. It also happens to be the field that is closely related to many of the ethical concerns raised with regards to interactive robots. Should human-robot interaction (HRI) practitioners keep in mind things such as human dignity, psychological harm, and privacy? What about how robot design relates to racism and sexism?

by and   -   April 29, 2014

hear_no_evil

A large robot comes out of an office mailroom carrying a package marked “Urgent” to deliver to the boss upstairs. After navigating down the hall at maximum speed, it discovers someone is already waiting for the elevator. If they cannot both fit in the elevator, is it acceptable for the robot to ask this person to take the next elevator so it can fulfill its urgent delivery duty?

by   -   March 13, 2014

NAO

As of yesterday, you can get the adorable and versatile humanoid robot NAO from Aldebaran Robotics for yourself, even if you are not an academic or a hardcore developer. According to Génération Robots, a European partner of Aldebaran Robotics, they are selling NAO Next Gen (that’s the fourth of the four versions of NAOs out there) with the starting price of 5628 €. In North America, the RobotsLab is offering NAO for $7990 – down from $16,000.

by   -   March 7, 2014

What does it mean to have giants like Google, Apple and Amazon investing in robotics? Since last December, Google alone has acquired a handful of companies in robotics, home automation and artificial intelligence. This can be pretty exciting for robotics. But what exactly is the internet giant planning to do with this technology? Is there something we should be worried about? If there is, what can we do about it?

by   -   November 29, 2013

In this episode, AJung Moon talks to Julie Carpenter, a recent graduate of the University of Washington who interviewed 23 U.S. Military Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel to find out how they interact with everyday field robots. Julie is currently writing a book on the topic that is scheduled to be published next year.

by   -   May 17, 2013

Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

In this episode, AJung talks to Peter Asaro from The New School in New York city about autonomous weapons systems. Peter tells us about the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international consortium of NGOs working together to ban autonomous weapons systems. You can read our full coverage of the campaign here, or have a look at our special focus series on robots and warfare.

by   -   May 7, 2013

On April 8-9, Stanford Law School held the second annual robotics and law conference, We Robot. This year’s event focused on near-term policy issues in robotics and featured panels and papers by scholars, practitioners, and engineers on topics like intellectual property, tort liability, legal ethics, and privacy. The full program is here.

by   -   April 27, 2013

Killer robots.

Looking at the two words together is enough to conjure up images of chaos and destruction.  They’re an image far too familiar in science fiction settings such as Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke. It’s also a concept many A.I. researchers will gladly tell you they’ve been plagued with at least once by friends or colleagues.  However, how much of a real ethical concern do they pose for society?

by   -   April 24, 2013

2013-04-10 13.47.34On April 10th, Robot Block Party 2013 took place right after We Robot conference.

Of course, I had an extra day to spend at Stanford University after the conference and couldn’t miss out on the event.

The fun really began when I got there. I was greeted by a gigantic inflatable Keepon, followed by booth after booth of robots. Among them were Puzzlebox, a robot controlled using EEG, PR2 from Willow Garage, and a self-driving car demonstrating LIDAR technology from Velodyne. With a lot of help from Dr. Peter Asaro, an expert in roboethics and professor at The New School, and my labmate Mr. Ergun Calisgan from the CARIS lab (University of British Columbia) I captured some of the highlights from Robot Block Party on video.


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