The Robot age

Robots set more in motion than technology alone. Innovations in Robotics give rise to major social and economic changes. Artificial intelligence plays herein an important role. Smart robots are increasingly resembling humans and develop skills that grossly exceed our own possibilities. This not only offers great opportunities, it also raises concerns. Think for example of the global discussion on autonomous ''killer-robots', or the fear that in the robot age privacy as a fundamental right may cease to exist. Existing ethical and legal frameworks are therefore gradually being compromised by robotization.

Roaming Outside the Iron Box

The robotization of our society is also a dynamic process. It forces us to constantly think about what actions and measures are needed, to integrate new robot applications seamlessly into our society. That task is more challenging than it might seem. By application of body augmentations, humanity in time will robotize as well. Anticipating is therefore desired for several reasons, if only for law to catch up with technology.

Robotage specializes in the ethical-legal aspects of Robotics & smart cities and can help you resolve issues surrounding the robot landscape.

Roderic Winkelhorst

Author Roderic Winkelhorst fotoThe boundless robot age is on the doorstep and the world's employment might be at stake. At robotage I keep the door ajar and like to separate facts from fiction when it comes to robotization. Not an easy job, but someone has to do it. My specialization lies in the field of robotics, with a strong sector focus on (service) robots, AI, Privacy, IoT & Smart Cities. I am also the author of several publications, including the books 'Elektronische Communicatie & Privacy' and 'Robot-is-me?'

Why choose Robotage?
Safety, privacy and security play an important role in the design and application of robot technology. The use of robots and artificial intelligence may, in fact, not lead to human injury, a violation of privacy, or security breaches. With a sound professional background in these three areas, Robotage possesses an ideal helicopter perspective which is highly useful in multidisciplinary projects.

Robotage is also connected to the European AI Alliance. A multi-stakeholder forum for engaging in a broad and open discussion of all aspects of AI development and its impact on the economy and society.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

"Anything that could give rise to smarter-than-human intelligence - in the form of Artificial Intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, or neuroscience-based human intelligence enhancement - wins hands down beyond contest as doing the most to change the world. Nothing else is even in the same league."

— Eliezer Yudkowsky, Machine Intelligence Research Institute.

Body Augmentations

"In the near future, with physical augmentation gaining ground and nano-cybernetics only years away, the dawn of limitless human evolution is just beyond the horizon..."

— James Swallow, The New York Times.

Internet of Things (IoT)

"The fact is, the IoT is kind of like the pony express was when it was first launched; it worked better than what we had, it underwent a lot of changes, and consumers won while business fortunes rose and fell. It’s anyone’s guess how the IoT will ultimately be used to effectively connect an unbelievably broad range of devices."

— Brian James, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Aria Systems.


"That's the kind of society I want to build. I want a guarantee - with physics and mathematics, not with laws - that we can give ourselves things like real privacy of personal communications.”

— John Gilmore, Founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Robotics Ethics

"Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”

— Potter Stewart, Former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Smart Cities

"Smart cities to us mean having a very robust network and communications backbone across the city that allows us to take advantage of technology and data tools to better serve our residents, promote economic development, promote sustainability efforts, and be more responsive to our citizens' needs. Sustainability and smart are definitely connected. You cannot claim to be a smart city if you’re not sustainable."

— Dennis Gakunga, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Chula Vista, CA.

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Robots set more in motion than technology alone

Important ethical principles regarding AI and autonomous systems:

  • The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems has published the second version of Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. [Link]

  • The Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence: a participatory process. The Declaration aims to spark public debate and encourage a progressive and inclusive orientation to the development of AI. [Link]

  • Asilomar AI Principles - Future of Life Institute. Over 100 thought leaders and researches in economics, law, ethics, and philosophy met at the conference, to address and formulate principles of beneficial AI. [Link]

  • The AI for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. The summits formulate strategies to ensure trusted, safe and inclusive development of AI technologies and equitable access to their benefits. [Link]

  • The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) & High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (Draft Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI). [Link] & [Link]

Within the private sector, companies such as IBM, Google and IBM have established their own ethic codes on AI:

  • Responsible AI Practices – Google AI
  • DeepMind Ethics & Society Principles
  • Microsoft AI principles
  • Everyday Ethics for Artificial Intelligence - IBM

  • and/or joined forces in:

  • OpenAI
  • Partnership on AI

  • On the military front:

  • Meaningful human control for lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) (Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW, Geneva))

    Robotics & AI

  • European Parliament, Committee on Legal Affairs 2015/2103 (INL) Report with Recommendations to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics.
  • The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) Principles of Robotics

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