RoboTIPS Responsible Robots for the Digital Economy

RoboTIPS focuses on social robots with the intention to transform these robots to become more responsible technologies.

Social robots are designed to operate in human environments and interact with humans. Accidents, while hopefully rare, are inevitable and when they happen it is vital that an investigation is able to discover what caused the accident, so that steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of the same accident happening again.

The project will design and trial an innovative design feature, the Ethical Black Box. This collects data about a robot’s actions in real time and in context. When problematic incidents occur, this black box provides a mechanism for the robot to produce an account of its own actions.

The Ethical Black Box makes the robot’s actions transparent and enables examination of how the incident occurred, how it may be addressed and how similar incidents may be prevented in future. The project takes a Responsible Innovation approach which will require consideration of and reflection on the processes and practices involved in the development of this innovation.

RoboTIPS is an Established Career Fellowship awarded to Marina Jirotka by the EPSRC. Project reference: EP/S005099/1. It runs from March 2019 to February 2024. Professor Alan Winfield, Science Communication Unit, UWE Bristol is the Fellowship Co-Investigator.

Find out more about the RoboTIPS project.