The research team of SSSA includes people from two different Institutes (DIRPOLIS and Biorobotics), and four different Laboratories of the School, in order to coordinate the proposal through a multidisciplinary perspective. These are the WISS Laboratory (Welfare, Innovation, Services and Development), the CDG Laboratory (International research laboratory on conflict, development and global politics), the ARTS Laboratory (Advanced robotics technology and systems laboratory), and the LIDER Lab. The fields of research in these Laboratories are Public Law and Social Policies, Private Law, Human Rights, and BioRobotics.
Main tasks in the project: SSSA is the leader of the proposal. It will be responsible for the management and the dissemination of the project. It will coordinate the elaboration of a “White Paper on Regulating Robotics”, containing the guidelines and suggestions for the European Commission. It will develop the research activities in WP1, studying the features of emerging soft law by investigating on the nature of ethical rules and codes as sources of law.
The Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society is part of Tilburg Law School, Tilburg University, the Netherlands. TILT's research covers a wide range of topics related to developments in ICT, biotechnology, and other emerging technologies. These developments are studied in the context of important domains of the expanding knowledge society, such as e-government, ecommerce, e-health, ICT regulation, biotechnology and nanotechnology, privacy, identity management, e-signatures, biometrics, cybercrime, security, intellectual property rights, citizenship and governance, globalisation, Europeanization, and ethics. Thanks to its composition, size and history, TILT is in a unique position to participate in the research programme. The thirty researchers (about half of whom have a legal background while the other half have a background in disciplines such as philosophy, ethics, public administration, sociology, psychology, computer science, business and management sciences) make TILT one of the most prominent Dutch research and education institutes in the area of technology regulation. The wide expertise with multidisciplinary research differentiates TILT from other research institutes in the domain of technology regulation. TILT staff have published several books on fundamental human rights and technology regulation (e.g., Ronald Leenes, Bert-Jaap Koops & Paul De Hert, (eds), Constitutional Rights and New Technologies, A Comparative study, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2007; Morag Goodwin, Bert-Jaap Koops, Ronald Leenes (eds), Dimensions of Technology Regulation, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2010; and Bert-Jaap Koops, Corien Prins, Maurice Schellekens and Mirjam Lips (Eds.), Starting Points for ICT Regulation – Deconstructing Prevalent Policy Oneliners, Springer, 2006). TILT has wide experience in organising and participating in international research projects.
Main tasks in the project: the TILT staff will take part in investigating different branches of the project. First, TILT’s expertise on law and robotics will play a central role in mapping the content and extent of existing and near-future robolaw. Central themes will include robots and liability, the legal status and (legal, moral) agency of robots, and robot rights. But TILT’s staff also focuses on new allies in robolaw, for instance relating to intellectual property rights, for instance in view of robots obtaining new behavioural patterns from task repositories. Moreover, using their legal skills they will be lead the development of a new methodology to chart current and upcoming legal questions in relation to the rapidly developing field of robotics. Second, TILT’s staff will use their expertise in ethics and philosophy of technology to chart a number of ethical issues in relation to robotics, focusing on its impact on concepts such as human autonomy, ability/disability, normalcy, fairness and equality.
The staff are particularly interested in investigative studies making use of implant and other technology to look into the possibilities of increasing mental capabilities of humans – examples being further senses, sensory substitution, new communication and upgrading memory are immediate examples. Between them they have already carried out numerous practical experiments in this area – indeed such experiments are ongoing. They were also involved in a previous EU NOE entitled ETHICBOTS which was concerned with the ethical aspects of designing robots that can think and act for themselves.
Main tasks in the project: the staff of UoR would take part principally in Work Package 4, investigating the practical realities of human enhancement – in terms of enhancement over and above the human norm as opposed to individual enhancement to overcome a disability. The team will look into the (future) technologies involved and the bidirectional interaction between the human body and technology and (in particular) overall human/technology performance from a systems perspective.
Since April 1st 2013, Hmboldt University of Berlin has withdrawn from the RoboLaw project and its role has been undertaken by Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU). The DoW amendment procedere is ongoing and further details on LMU will be communicated upon acceptance of the amendment request.
The staff has the intent to create an interdisciplinary forum for research on Ethics in front of Robotics. Special emphasis is placed on conceptual aspects of human selfunderstanding and embodiment. They try to defend a ‘Radical Embodied Cognition Thesis’ concerning the necessary situatedness of minds like ours in a shaped body and a structured environment. This thesis is central for contemporary approaches of situated cognition in Cognitive Science and in Philosophy. This opens up not only a rich variety of explanatory models but also promising perspectives for considering ethical consequences. The integrated model is meant to function as a conceptual tool allowing to assess more precisely how personal functions of consciousness may alter due to biotechnological methods. Staff were also involved in a previous interdisciplinary research group entitled «Functions of consciousness» which was composed of scholars from both the humanities and the natural sciences, working together to explore the functions of consciousness.
Main tasks in the project: HUB will coordinate WP4 investigating in particular what it means to be a person or holder of moral and legal rights, because Enhancement may not only affect single individuals in physical and mental sense, but also the coexistence of people. Emerging Robotic Technologies may partially reverse the logical and temporal precedence of the biological-natural versus the cultural dimension of human existence. In this case a cultural communication process provides important prerequisites for understanding biological and technological feature of human existence and managing juristic and ethical issues. The group will also contribute to external discussion and dissemination of the material realized in this project in the widest possible sense – in terms of academic conferences/journals of high standing through keynote presentations and also through mainstream magazine, newspaper articles