Registration for We Robot Closes on Monday

Seating is limited; registrations may be available at the door subject to capacity, but why not reserve your place now? Registration closes Monday at 5pm – so don’t delay.

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‘Openrov and Openrov Trident: Democratizing Exploration, Conservation, and Marine Science Through Low-Cost Open-Source Underwater Robots’

Andrew Thaler

Andrew Thaler

Andrew Thaler of OpenROV
 and Joey Maier of Polk State will present a demonstration of their underwater robot.

They will explain how providing a platform that is accessible to a majority of ocean stakeholder groups and can operate in marine and freshwater systems empowers researchers, citizen scientists, and conservation workers. Underwater robots provide the ability to broadcast discoveries in real time, allowing both greater participation from the general public and more transparency. Low­ cost, open­ source underwater robots, like the OpenROV, are a powerful tool that can fundamentally alter the way people interact with the oceans. The OpenROV 2.8 and OpenROV Trident are among the most capable underwater robots available to consumers. Their open­ source architecture makes the eminently expandable and hackable, presenting a tremendous opportunity to ocean stakeholders with particular needs and a limited budget. Both are capable of diving to 100 meters, are extremely portable, and have a 2 hour+ endurance. For this demonstration, the capabilities of both OpenROVs will be discussed, along with the description of field projects that have successfully used OpenROVs. The legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of small underwater robots (particularly with regard to interactions with marine mammals and in the transport of invasive species) also will be explored.

Trident in water

Trident in water

Andrew Thaler of OpenROV
 and Joey Maier of Polk State will present a demonstration on Openrov and Openrov Trident: Democratizing Exploration, Conservation, and Marine Science Through Low-Cost Open-Source Underwater Robots on Saturday, April 2nd at 1:30 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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Time to Start Reading We Robot Papers!

All of the We Robot 2016 papers are now available for download from the Program Page — look for the colorful hyperlinks. If you’re coming, or if you are planning to follow along online, you will want to read as many of the papers as you can before the event. We Robot authors do not present their papers; instead we jump straight to the discussant, who summarizes the paper and then offers comments. The author(s) respond briefly, and then we turn it over to our amazing attendees for their questions and reactions. This makes for a much more substantive session, but it works better if you’ve read the paper in advance.

UPDATED: If you would prefer to download the papers all at once, here’s a zip file with all of the papers.
Second Update (3/28): There’s a new draft of the Asaro paper on the Program page, and in the zip file above.
Third Update (3/29): New draft of Gilbert-Zallone article.

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Poster Presentations at We Robot 2016

We have a very international and interdisciplinary list of poster presenters and topics for our Friday afternoon sessions:

Poster Presentations

Legal Personhood for Robots: Parallels, Lessons, and Suggestions
Migle Laukyte, UC3M Conex – Marie Curie Fellow at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain).

Robots vs. Monkeys: Intellectual Property Rights of Non-Human Creators
Charles M. Roslof, Legal Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation
Tiffany Li, Privacy Fellow, Wikimedia Foundation

The Ethical Characteristics of Autonomous Robots

Fahad Alaieri, Electronic Business Program, University of Ottawa (Canada) & Management Information Systems, Qassim University (Saudi Arabia)

Honours Course on Robot Law at the Universities of Amsterdam
Robert Van den Hoven van Gendern, VU University of Amsterdam & Center for Law and Internet and Intellectual Property(CLI) of Transnational Studies (TLS), VU University of Amsterdam

Regulatory Framework for a Cloud-based Architecture that Supports a LEGO® Play-based Robot-mediated Therapy for Children with ASD
Eduard Fosch Villaronga, Università di Bologna
Jordi Albo-Canals, La Salle BCN – Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain / Tufts University

Should We Re-interpret the Confrontation Clause or Revise the Rules of Evidence to Provide a Different Type of Right to “Confront” Machine Witnesses?”
Brian Sites, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law

Software Intelligence (SI) Dependent Legal Personhood & SI-Human Amalgamation (SIHA)– an Evolutionary Step for Patent Law
Joanna Bac, Aberdeen University

Creating Learning Spaces for the Digital Age: The Philosophy and Governance of Emerging Technologies Course at Notre Dame de Namur University
William Barry, Notre Dame de Namur University
Maria Rachelle, Notre Dame de Namur University

Human Interactions with Robots: Law, Policy, Ethics after Ashcroft v. FSC (US 2002)
Vickie Sutton, Texas Tech University School of Law

Patentability Of Dualistic Inventions
Charles Walter, University of Houston College of Engineering & College of Law

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We Robot 2016 Approved for Florida CLE

We’re happy to announce that the Florida Bar has approved We Robot 2016 for 25.0 credits of General CLE, including 3.5 Ethics credits.

One more reason for lawyers to attend!

 

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William D. Smart on “The Robot Revolution has been Rescheduled (until we can debug the sensors)”: Technical Aspects of Robotics

On March 31, We Robot 2016 will host four workshops designed by experts to help people from other disciplines get up to speed in their specialty. We hope these workshops will be attended by people who want to learn about the topics, and by people willing to share their expertise with both experts and neophytes.

William D. Smart

William D. Smart

We talk about robots all the time, but do we really know what a robot is? What can they do? What do they have difficulty doing? Will they rise up and kill all humans? In this workshop, we’ll discuss what’s hard about building robots and getting them to work in the real world. We’ll look at current robotic technologies, and what the current and near-future limits of these technologies are. To hammer the point home, we’ll build a complete mobile robot during the workshop, get it to do a simple task, and laugh at it when it fails. We’ll also play around with a robot speed camera, and see if we can trick it into not giving us a speeding ticket. The goal of the workshop is to give you an insight into the mechanical minds (and eyes and arms and legs) of robots, and a realistic understanding of what they can currently do, and what they might be able to do in the near future.

William D. Smart will join We Robot 2016 to hold a workshop on “The Robot Revolution has been Rescheduled (until we can debug the sensors)”: Technical Aspects of Robotics on Thursday, March 31st at 2:00 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Bill Smart is an Associate Professor at Oregon State University, where he co-directs the Robotics program.  He holds a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in Computer Science from Brown University, an M.Sc. in Intelligent Robotics from the University of Edinburgh, and a B.Sc. (hons) in Computer Science from the University of Dundee.  Prior to moving to Oregon State in 2012, he was an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, with a courtesy appointment in Biomedical Engineering, at Washington University in St. Louis.  His research interests cover the fields of human-robot interaction, machine learning, and mobile robotics.  His recent work has focused on how robots and robotic technologies can be used for people with severe motor disabilities.  He is particularly proud of his Erdős (3), and his Bacon number (also 3).

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Daniel Sciliano on ‘Funding the Future: Financial Aspects of Robotics’

On March 31, We Robot 2016 will host four workshops designed by experts to help people from other disciplines get up to speed in their specialty. We hope these workshops will be attended by people who want to learn about the topics, and by people willing to share their expertise with both experts and neophytes.

Daniel Sciliano

Daniel Sciliano

Dan Siciliano will join We Robot 2016 to hold a workshop on Funding the Future: Financial Aspects of Robotics on Thursday, March 31st at 3:45 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. F. Daniel Siciliano, JD ’04, is a legal scholar and entrepreneur with expertise in corporate governance, corporate finance, and immigration law. He assumes a variety of leadership roles at the law school, including faculty director of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, associate dean for executive education and special programs and co-director of Stanford’s Directors’ College. He is also the co-originator of the OSCGRS (Open Source Corporate Governance Reporting System) Project. Previously, Siciliano was a teaching fellow for the law school’s international LLM degree program in Corporate Governance and Practice and executive director of the Program in Law, Economics and Business. He is the senior research fellow with the Immigration Policy Center and a frequent commentator on the long-term economic impact of immigration policy and reform. His work has included expert testimony in front of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Prior to joining Stanford Law School, Siciliano co-founded and served as executive director of the Immigration Outreach Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He has launched and led several successful businesses, including LawLogix Group—named three times to the Inc. 500/5000 list. Siciliano serves as a governance consultant and trainer to board directors of several Fortune 500 companies and is a member of the Academic Council of Corporate Board Member magazine.

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Woodrow Hartzog on ‘Juris Machina: Legal Aspects of Robotics’

On March 31, We Robot 2016 will host four workshops designed by experts to help people from other disciplines get up to speed in their specialty. We hope these workshops will be attended by people who want to learn about the topics, and by people willing to share their expertise with both experts and neophytes.

Woodrow Hartzog

Woodrow Hartzog

What is a tort? Can a robot commit one? What other laws might robots break? Which agencies in Washington’s alphabet soup like the FTC, FAA, NHTSA, and others matter for robotics and why? Is it better to lay out specific, intricate rules for robots, or should we just require that they “act reasonable?” This session will provide a foundation for asking and answering legal and policy research questions related robotics. It will cover basic legal concepts as applied to sophisticated computational technology. Not only will we cover the basic structures and laws relevant to robots, but we will review some basic principles behind why these laws exist, and what kinds of laws are useful in various contexts. The goal for this session will be to equip you with the tools necessary to ascertain the merits of robotics laws and propose alternatives for the stinkers.

Professor Woodrow Hartzog will join We Robot 2016 to hold a workshop on Juris Machina: Legal Aspects of Robotics on Thursday, March 31st at 9:30 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Prof. Hartzog is an internationally-recognized expert in the area of privacy, media, and robotics law. He has been quoted or referenced in numerous articles and broadcasts, including NPR, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. Prof. Hartzog’s work has been published in numerous scholarly publications such as the Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, and Michigan Law Review and popular national publications such as Wired, Bloomberg, New Scientist, The Atlantic, and The Nation. He is also a contributor to Forbesand a frequent guest contributor to LinkedIn, Concurring Opinions, and other popular blogs. Before joining the faculty at Cumberland School of Law, Prof. Hartzog worked as a trademark attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia, and as an associate attorney at Burr & Forman LLP in Birmingham, Alabama. He also served as a clerk for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., and was a Roy H. Park Fellow, at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prof. Hartzog is an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. He also serves on the advisory board of the Future of Privacy Forum.

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Kate Darling on ‘Electronic Love, Trust, & Abuse: Social Aspects of Robotics’

On March 31, We Robot 2016 will host four workshops designed by experts to help people from other disciplines get up to speed in their specialty. We hope these workshops will be attended by people who want to learn about the topics, and by people willing to share their expertise with both experts and neophytes.

Kate Darling

Kate Darling

What are research methods? How do you conduct a study? Are researchers biased? This session is your primer if you want to get into social science or you want to be able to make snarky comments about other people’s work. The field of human-robot interaction is rife with social science methods, because human behavior is usually way more interesting than robot behavior. Social science studies involve research methods and statistics. In this session, we’ll be covering the former, i.e. how to design and execute an investigation. There will be little to no math (sorry, math nerds), and many examples with robots.

Dr. Kate Darling will join We Robot 2016 to hold a workshop on Electronic Love, Trust, & Abuse: Social Aspects of Robotics on Thursday, March 31st at 11:15 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Darling is a Research Specialist at the MIT Media Lab and a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center. Her interest is in how technology intersects with society. Kate’s work has explored economic issues in intellectual property systems and increasingly looks at the near-term effects of robotic technology, with a particular interest in law, social, and ethical issues. She runs experiments, holds workshops, writes, and speaks about some of the more interesting developments in the world of human-robot interaction, and where we might find ourselves in the future.

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William D. Smart on ‘What do We Really Know About Robots and the Law?’

William D. Smart

William D. Smart

We Robot is a gloriously multi-disciplinary conference. Legal and policy scholars discuss current and future robots and robotics technologies, and offer sage advice about how to legislate them. Roboticists talk about current and future legal and policy structures, and hypothesize how these might interact with the underlying technology. Ideas flow back and forth, and we make concrete steps towards understanding how law, policy, and robotics interact, both today and in the years to come.

Or do we? How much do legal and policy scholars know about real robots, and the technology that goes into them? How well do roboticists understand the law and how it works? The frank answer to both of these questions is “not as much or as well as they should”.

This paper provides the results of a survey taken at We Robot 2013, designed to assess how well me know each others’ fields of expertise. We Robot participants were invited to answer a set of questions to determine how well they understood the basics of robotics technology and some of the legal issues surrounding it. Participants self-identified as either a roboticist, a legal scholar, a policy scholar, or “other” and gave some basic demographic information. The paper gives an analysis of the results of the survey, highlighting some interesting trends. Without giving the game away, none of us knows as much as we think we do, and there’s still a lot of work to be done to educate each other, and to really understand the basics of each other’s fields. This is, however, vital for the long-term success of both We Robot and the ideas on which it is founded.

In addition to presenting the results of the survey, the paper identifies some key areas where we can make progress in educating each other, and provide some concrete suggestions for how to do this. The ultimate goal of this paper is to scare everyone just a little bit, but then to provide a ray of hope for the future. If we know where our own shortcomings are, we can work to directly address them, and to make sure that, when we are caricaturing our colleagues’ areas of expertise, we are at least 80% right.

William D. Smart will present What do We Really Know About Robots and the Law? on Saturday, April 2nd at 4:30 PM with discussant Ian Kerr at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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