Social robotics and its sustainability

(Nanowerk News) Researchers have exerted considerable efforts to advance the robotic technologies as well as to understand their social implications. As a result, robotics is now a highly articulated field with various types of robots already assisting numerous areas of human activity. Despite their increasing significance and relevance, the general public tends to think that robots still belong to the world of science fiction and research laboratories.
Moreover, past research findings are still rather confined within the disciplinary boundaries, hindering cross-fertilisation and collaboration for facilitating our understanding of social robotics further. Bringing our research up to the next level is essential if we wish to implement the ever-advancing robotic technologies in our everyday lives effectively, ethically, and sustainably.
In this endeavour, three COST Domains - Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health (ISCH), Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences (BMBS) - have joined forces to discuss innovative research and ideas describing rigorous scientific advances in social robotics from the perspectives of hard science, social sciences, and humanistic inquiry.
This three-day event aims to give an overview of the current state of the art on social robotics across disciplines in order to discern what the near future may hold. Covered topics will include but not be limited to the evolution of the field traced by all the transdisciplinary stakeholders (e.g. engineering, social sciences, etc.), the communication and emotional impact social robots might generate in users and in the general public, the models of society embodied in social robots, and the societies that such robots will contribute to outline.
Special attention will be paid to overall social consequences, in particular in education, healthcare and domestic spheres, people’s perception/social discourse/media representations of social robots, social acceptance, safety and compatibility in the design of social robots 'living' with humans, socially appealing design methodologies, ergonomics in human-robot interactions, three-party interaction (between robots, humans and bystanders), multimodal sensor communication, and application of human and animal prototypes to robots.
The event is in the early preparation stages. More information will be made available mid-January 2013.
Source: COST
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