Regulating Emerging Robotic Technologies in Europe: Robotics facing Law and Ethics

BioRobotics Institute Role: 

Project Lifetime
Mar 2012 to Feb 2014

Research Program: 
Grant no.: 
SSSA Total Cost: 
824.715,20 EUR
Contribution to SSSA: 
659.366 EUR
Dedicated website: 

The main objective of the research in this project is to investigate the ways in which emerging technologies in the field of (bio-) robotics (e.g. bionics, neural interfaces and nanotechnologies) have a bearing on the content, meaning and setting of the law. In the RoboLaw project the ways in which regulation (both in terms of soft and hard law) may be affected by, and even in need of adjustment in light of, advances in robotics, with a special focus on human enhancement will be researched. To do so the current state-of-the-art of legislation and regulation pertaining to robotics will be analysed, and the areas of regulation that are in need of adjustment or revision due to the advent of emerging robotics technologies will be identified. Moreover, the interrelations between technical, legal and moral norms in this field will be studied, in order to define what could be the best balance between them, and to promote a technically feasible, yet also ethically and legally sound basis for future robotics developments. Uncovering ethical values embedded into robotics technologies, and ethical consequences arising from their use, is another key element of this research. The most important outcome of the RoboLaw project will consist of a "White Paper on Regulating Robotics", containing regulatory guidelines for the European Commission, in order to establish of a solid framework of 'robolaw' in Europe.

What we do: 

SSSA is the leader of the proposal. It is responsible for the management and the dissemination of the project. It coordinates the elaboration of a "White Paper on Regulating Robotics", containing the guidelines and suggestions for the European Commission. Also developing 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.

Media - pictures: 



Meet the team