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European Union advocates for ‘responsible robotics development’

The European Union says it is aiming to support, develop, and benefit from advancements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the lives of its citizens, businesses, and scientific communities, including the wider use of responsible robots.

However, the EU says that, for robots to be widely accepted in society, it’s “crucial to ensure they adhere to responsible robotics principles”.

In the context of the Robotics4EU project, responsible robotics means designing robots that reflect the values and expectations of society.

This approach is key to creating safer, more thoughtful, durable, affordable, and practical robotics solutions, known as responsible robots. These robots are vital for overcoming societal barriers and promoting widespread adoption.

That’s where the Responsible Robotics Advocacy Report comes in. This report, informed by extensive research, consultations, and the collective wisdom of the robotics community, engaged throughout the life-cycle of the Robotics4EU project, outlines a comprehensive strategy for promoting responsible robotics development in the European Union.

In this report, it is possible to find key topics of recommendations, designed to foster responsible robotics forward, such as:

Advancing a Coherent Responsible Robotics Regulatory Framework: The report proposes an EU expert group to unify robotics regulations, focusing on ethics, safety, and adaptability.

Empowering the Robotics Community: The report highlights access to resources and guidance for navigating ethical standards, especially for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), promoting responsible development.

Fostering Multi-Stakeholder Engagement: The report advocates for engaging the public and stakeholders in meaningful conversations about robotics, addressing concerns and incorporating diverse viewpoints.

Equipping the Workforce for the Future: The report emphasises the need for education and dialogue to navigate the workforce transition into a robotics-enhanced future, with a focus on ethics in technology.

According to Jovita Tautkevičiūtė (CIVITTA), the main author of this report and part of the Robotics4EU consortium, “The EU’s commitment to responsible technology development is exemplary , but it must translate into actionable strategies. This entails methods, tools, incentives, and collaboration between diverse communities, such as social, humanitarian, and robotics.

“The Responsible Robotics Advocacy Report provides concrete recommendations for policymakers, industry, and academia to promote responsible robotics practices.”

By implementing these recommendations, the Robotics4EU project envisions a future where robotics flourishes within a responsible and ethical framework.

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