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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 ,   -   April 29, 2014


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


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   -   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.

by   -   March 29, 2013

Robot Futures is a new book written by Dr. Illah Nourbakhsh, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has been teaching roboethics at the university for many years. According to Dr. Noel Sharkey, this book is “[a]n exhilarating dash into the future of robotics from a scholar with the enthusiasm of a bag of monkeys. It is gripping from the start with little sci-fi stories in each chapter punching home points backed up forcefully by factual reality. This is an entertaining tour de force that will appeal to anyone with an interest in robots.”

by   -   November 6, 2012

This past weekend, I have been a little bit occupied with the idea of self-awareness and robots. The above video is just for fun of course. But this post isn’t really about the video and how entertaining it is (sorry if I disappointed you). Rather, it’s more about the idea of self-aware robots and our use of the word ‘self-awareness’ (and other similar words) when it comes to talking about robots.

Let’s get started.