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Paper on Responsible Domestic Robots wins Emerald Literati Award

Tue 15 December 2020

Dr Lachlan Urquhart profile picture

We are proud to share the news that the article 'Responsible domestic robotics: exploring ethical implications of robots in the home' by Dr Lachlan D. Urquhart of Edinburgh Law School, alongside Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training PhD's Natalie Leesakul and Dominic Richard Vernon Reedman-Flint, has been selected as a Highly Commended Paper in the 2020 Emerald Literati Awards.

For over 25 years the Emerald Literati Awards have celebrated and rewarded the outstanding contributions of authors and reviewers. The winners are chosen by a journal editorial team giving the winning authors confidence in knowing that their paper was one of the most impressive pieces of work from the previous year. The editorial team stated that this collaborative paper on Responsible Domestic Robots was one of the most exceptional pieces of work they saw throughout 2019.

The purpose of the paper is to explore some of the challenges and requirements for designing responsible domestic robots. It 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 looks into 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.

The award-winning article 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.

As well as each collaborator receiving a certificate of recognition, the paper will be also be listed as a winner on the Emerald journal homepage.

Access the paper: 'Responsible domestic robotics: exploring ethical implications of robots in the home' has now been made freely available for a limited time via the Emerald insight website.

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