Duration: January 2020 until December 2022

The starting point for the pilot project RoboTrust was the observation that science and industry are increasingly dealing with anthropomorphic robots. With the increasing maturity of robotic technologies and developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), great technological advances have been made. At the same time, there has been a lack of responsible development and systematic scientific methodology as a guiding framework for the implementation of anthropomorphic service robots. The aim of the pilot project was therefore to develop a methodology that specifies responsible design of service robots.

In the course of the three-year project period, a multidisciplinary methodology for the development and evaluation of responsibly designed service robots was developed. The framework jointly developed by the project team serves as a guide for science, society and business and covers the responsible physical design as well as the programming and placement of service robots. Interdependencies between psychology, ethics, law and robotics were identified and their key aspects described. Preliminary versions of the framework were presented and published jointly by the participating scientists at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). In a joint study by the participating scientists, the framework was experimentally tested with a retail scenario as an example and expanded to include key findings.

Corresponding findings from the individual sub-projects complemented the development of the framework. They provided insights into the influence of transparency, movement design and references to social conventions on the acceptability of anthropomorphic service robots. To investigate the influence on user acceptance emanating from the responsiveness of robots to signs of human emotion, a multi-method approach was developed and successfully tested in the study. In addition, valuable insights into the current legal situation were gained. Based on these results, risk-reducing measures, clear procedural rules and legislative intervention were called for in order to ensure and promote the responsible use of service robots.

For further information on the ZEVEDI pilot project visit the RoboTrust website

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Dr. Ruth Stock-Homburg, Technische Universität Darmstadt | spokesperson | more information

Prof. Dr. Klaus David, Universität Kassel | more information
Prof. Jan Peters, Ph.D., Technische Universität Darmstadt | more information
Prof. Dr. Indra Spiecker genannt Döhmann, LLM (Georgetown Univ.), Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a. M. | more information
Prof. Dr. Oskar von Stryk, Technische Universität Darmstadt | more information
Prof. Dr. Janine Wendt, Technische Universität Darmstadt | more information

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