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On the anticipation of ethical conflicts between humans and robots in Japanese mangas

The following contribution examines the influence of mangas and animes on the social perception and cultural understanding of robots in Japan. Part of it is the narrow interaction between pop culture and Japanese robotics: Some examples shall serve to illustrate spill-over effects between popular robot stories and the recent development of robot technologies in Japan.…

Robotic Etiquette: Socially Acceptable Navigation of Service Robots with Human Motion Pattern Learning and Prediction

Nonverbal and noncontact behaviors play a significant role in allowing service robots to structure their interactions with humans. In this paper, a novel human-mimic mechanism of robot navigational skills was proposed for developing socially acceptable robotic etiquette. Based on the sociological and physiological concerns of interpersonal interactions in movement, several criteria in navigation were represented…

Robots That Stereotype: Creating and Using Categories of People for Human-Robot Interaction

Psychologists note that humans use categories to simplify and speed the process of person perception. Applications that require a robot to interact with a variety of different people will demand the creation of stereotypes representing different categories of people. This article presents a method for stereotype learning and usage by a robot. Both robot and…

What Drives Research in Self-driving Cars?

In the first part of this article, I wrote about how two major events shaped research in self-driving cars: the DARPA Grand Challenges and Google’s Self-driving Car (hereafter: SDC) project. In this post, I will talk about my surprise at the unfulfilled yet pervasive promises of machine learning in SDC research.

A cross-cultural study of acceptance and use of robotics by future psychology practitioners

Research in robotics has made available numerous possibilities and tools for further innovation in psychological practice. For instance, recent research provided many examples of possible applications of robots in the education and rehabilitation of people with learning difficulties and/or intellectual disabilities. In this paper, we present a study on how cultural backgrounds can influence the…

Capabilities and Well-Being: Evidence Based on the Sen–Nussbaum Approach to Welfare

One of the most significant theoretical contributions to welfare analysis across a range of disciplines has been the development of the capabilities framework by Sen and others. Motivated by the claim that freedom should play a key role in social evaluation, the capabilities framework suggests that we consider what it is that people are free…

Care Robots for an Over-Aging Society: A Technical Solution for Japan’s Demographic Problem?

Japan has the world's longest life expectancy and highest proportion of older people in its population. As a result, the delivery of old-age care is becoming an urgent and high priority issue for the Japanese government. There is a high demand for care within a society whose population is constantly aging, and within this discrepancy,…

Konnichiwa robot, sayonara human? – Construction and domestication of robots in Japan

This thesis explores the robots of Japan in a historical and cultural context, to see how they are co-produced among a wide variety of actors in a network. It is seen both from the creator side, through their scripting of what a robot should be understood and used as, and also from the user-side, through…

Living With Seal Robots: Its Sociopsychological and Physiological Influences on the Elderly at a Care House

Robot therapy for elderly residents in a care house has been conducted since June 2005. Two therapeutic robots were introduced into a care facility, and activated for over 9 h each day to interact with the residents. This paper presents the results of the first month of this experiment. To investigate the psychological and social…

Rinri: An Incitement towards the Existence of Robots in Japanese Society

Known as the Robot Kingdom, Japan has launched, by granting outstanding governmental budgets, a new strategic plan in order to create new markets for the RT (Robot-Technology) Industry. Now that the social structure is greatly modernized and a high social functionality has been achieved, robots in society are taking a popular role for Japanese people.…

The crying shame of robot nannies: An ethical appraisal

An ethical appraisal of the possibility of part or full-time replacement of primary caregivers by robots, including implications for neglect of children, possible physical harm, human rights issues, privacy issues, robot use of restraint, deception of children, accountability, and consequences for the psychological and emotional well being of children.

What people assume about humanoid and animal-type robots: Cross-cultural analysis between Japan, Korea, and the United States

To broadly explore the rationale behind more socially acceptable robot design and to investigate the psychological aspects of social acceptance of robotics, a cross-cultural research instrument, the Robot Assumptions Questionnaire (RAQ), was administered to university students in Japan, Korea, and the United States, focusing on five factors relating to humanoid and animal-type robots: relative autonomy,…