Social geographies II Robots

This report examines how social geographers are engaging with the questions that robots and robotic technologies provoke. First, it discusses Marxist analyses of machines and troubles the role that robots play in social production and reproduction. Second, robots as actors in assemblages of sociospatial relations are interrogated for their role in state violence. Third, the…

Interaction Expands Function: Social Shaping of the Therapeutic Robot PARO in a Nursing Home

We use the social shaping of technology and society framework to qualitatively analyze data collected through observation of human-robot interaction (HRI) between social actors in a nursing home (staff, residents, visitors) and the socially assistive robot PARO. The study took place over the course of three months, during which PARO was placed in a publicly…

Teach Me Show Me End-User Personalization of a Smart Home and Companion Robot

Care issues and costs associated with an increasing elderly population are becoming a major concern for many countries. The use of assistive robots in “smart-home” environments has been suggested as a possible partial solution to these concerns. A challenge is the personalization of the robot to meet the changing needs of the elderly person over…

When will people regard robots as morally competent social partners?

We propose that moral competence consists of five distinct but related elements: (1) having a system of norms; (2) mastering a moral vocabulary; (3) exhibiting moral cognition and affect; (4) exhibiting moral decision making and action; and (5) engaging in moral communication. We identify some of the likely triggers that may convince people to (justifiably)…

How Robots Can Affect Human Behavior: Investigating the Effects of Robotic Displays of Protest and Distress

The rise of military drones and other robots deployed in ethically-sensitive contexts has fueled interest in developing autonomous agents that behave ethically. The ability for autonomous agents to independently reason about situational ethics will inevitably lead to confrontations between robots and human operators regarding the morality of issued commands. Ideally, a robot would be able…

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…

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,…