Towards Safe and Trustworthy Social Robots: Ethical Challenges and Practical Issues

  • Maha SalemEmail author
  • Gabriella Lakatos
  • Farshid Amirabdollahian
  • Kerstin Dautenhahn
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9388)


As robots are increasingly developed to assist humans socially with everyday tasks in home and healthcare settings, questions regarding the robot’s safety and trustworthiness need to be addressed. The present work investigates the practical and ethical challenges in designing and evaluating social robots that aim to be perceived as safe and can win their human users’ trust. With particular focus on collaborative scenarios in which humans are required to accept information provided by the robot and follow its suggestions, trust plays a crucial role and is strongly linked to persuasiveness. Accordingly, human-robot trust can directly affect people’s willingness to cooperate with the robot, while under- or overreliance may have severe or even dangerous consequences. Problematically, investigating trust and human perceptions of safety in HRI experiments proves challenging in light of numerous ethical concerns and risks, which this paper aims to highlight and discuss based on experiences from HRI practice.


Socially assistive robots Safety and trust in HRI Roboethics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maha Salem
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gabriella Lakatos
    • 1
  • Farshid Amirabdollahian
    • 1
  • Kerstin Dautenhahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Adaptive Systems Research GroupUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUK

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