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Ethical, Legal & Participatory Concerns in the Development of Human-Robot Interaction

Lessons from Eight Research Projects with Social Robots in Real-World Scenarios

Felix Carros, Tobias Störzinger, Anne Wierling, Adrian Preussner and Peter Tolmie
From the journal i-com


Research on Human-Robot Interaction is increasing as system become widely available and reached a level that enables smooth interactions. Yet, many research projects act in a silo mentality, in regard of participatory, ethical, or legal matters of social robotics. Knowledge about specific challenges is not universal and has often to be transferred from non-robotic contexts. We present findings in the three dimensions: participatory design, ethics for social robots and legal aspects. We accompanied eight research projects on social robots in real-world scenarios for three years. During that time, we spoke, observed, and helped (where possible) the research projects. This gave us specific insights into their work. Our findings work in three dimensions. In participatory design we observed that the trust relationship to users is essential to gain truthful insights and that a mixed method approach is promising. Regarding ethical aspects, we could see that ethical matters should be answered early on. And in the legal dimensions we noticed that the GDPR regulations are a challenge that often requires the help of experts. This work is reflecting on the observation of eight projects and is collecting lessons learned to help future projects and to learn from previous work.


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Published Online: 2022-07-19
Published in Print: 2022-08-26

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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