Many recent studies (e.g., IFR: International Federation of Robotics, 2016) predict that the number of robots (industrial, service/social, intelligent/autonomous) will increase enormously in the future. Robots are directly involved in human life. Industrial robots, household robots, medical robots, assistive robots, sociable/entertainment robots, and war robots all play important roles in human life and raise crucial ethical problems for our society. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the fundamental concepts of robot ethics (roboethics) and some future prospects of robots and roboethics, as an introduction to the present Special Issue of the journal Information
on “Roboethics”. We start with the question of what roboethics is, as well as a discussion of the methodologies of roboethics, including a brief look at the branches and theories of ethics in general. Then, we outline the major branches of roboethics, namely: medical roboethics, assistive roboethics, sociorobot ethics, war roboethics, autonomous car ethics, and cyborg ethics. Finally, we present the prospects for the future of robotics and roboethics.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited