Liability in Robotics:An International Perspective on Robots as Animals

Liability in Robotics: An International Perspective on Robots as Animals


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Richard Kelley, Enrique Schaerer,

Micaela Gomez and Monica Nicolescu

University of Nevada





“As service robots become increasingly common in society, so too will accidents involving service robots. Current law functions effectively to adjudicate the disputes that arise from such accidents, but as technology improves and robot autonomy grows, it will become much harder to apply currently-existing laws. Instead, new legal frameworks will have to be developed to address questions of liability in human-robot interaction. We have already proposed the framework “Robots As Animals,” in which robots are analogized to domesticated animals for legal purposes in disputes about liability. In our initial presentation, though, we focused exclusively on the common law in the United States Federal Government. In this paper, we examine the laws concerning domesticated animals in countries in Europe, Asia, and North America. We apply the lessons learned from our analysis to build an expanded framework that better reflects the established norms of several nations and more explicitly balances the competing interests of producers and consumers of robot technology. We also provide examples of ways in which our new framework may be applied.”


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