Skip to Main Content
Robot ethics is a growing interdisciplinary research effort roughly in the intersection of applied ethics and robotics with the aim of understanding the ethical implications and consequences of robotic technology. This article argues that the best approach to robot ethics addresses researchers, theorists, and scholars from areas as diverse as robotics, computer science, psychology, law, philosophy, and others. Many areas of robotics are impacted, especially those where robots interact with humans, ranging from elder care and medical robotics, to robots for various search and rescue missions, including military robots, to all kinds of service and entertainment robots. While military robots were initially a main focus of the discussion (e.g., whether and when autonomous robots should be allowed to use lethal force or to make those decisions autonomously, etc.), in recent years, the impact of other types of robots, in particular social robots, has become an increasingly important topic as well (see the various articles in ).