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Exploring the ethical landscape of robot-assisted search and rescue

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M. Harbers, Joachim Greeff, de, Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová, M.A. Neerincx, Koen V. Hindriks | Part of a book | Publication date: 07 January 2017
As robots are increasingly used in Search and Rescue (SAR) missions, it becomes highly relevant to study how SAR robots can be developed and deployed in a responsible way. In contrast to some other robot application domains, e.g. military and healthcare, the ethics of robot-assisted SAR are relatively under examined. This paper aims to fill this gap by assessing and analyzing important values and value tensions of stakeholders of SAR robots. The paper describes the outcomes of several Value Assessment workshops that were conducted with rescue workers, in the context of a European research project on robot-assisted SAR (the TRADR project). The workshop outcomes are analyzed and key ethical concerns and dilemmas are identified and discussed. Several recommendations for future ethics research leading to responsible development and deployment of SAR robots are provided.

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