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Envisioning and Questioning Near Future Urban Robotics

by Maria Luce Lupetti and Nazli Cila

Published onNov 06, 2019
Envisioning and Questioning Near Future Urban Robotics


Robotic services, which have started to appear in urban environments, are going to transform our society. Designers of these robots are not only required to meet technical and legal challeng-es, but also address the potential social, political, and ethical consequences of their design choic-es. In this paper, we present a workshop format with its related tools intended for enabling speculation about such possible futures and fostering reflection on potential socio-ethical impli-cations that might support/oppose these futures. We report the results and discussion of one par-ticular workshop case, in which the implementation of two particular robotic services for a city was envisioned and questioned, i.e., surveillance and delivery of goods. By discussing the re-sults, we illustrate how such a workshop format might be beneficial for setting the agenda for a more conscious design of urban robots and orienting future research towards meaningful themes related to the emerging coexistence scenarios between citizens and robots.

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