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The Question of Robot Safety 482

An anonymous reader writes to mention an Economist article wondering how safe should robots be? From the article: "In 1981 Kenji Urada, a 37-year-old Japanese factory worker, climbed over a safety fence at a Kawasaki plant to carry out some maintenance work on a robot. In his haste, he failed to switch the robot off properly. Unable to sense him, the robot's powerful hydraulic arm kept on working and accidentally pushed the engineer into a grinding machine. His death made Urada the first recorded victim to die at the hands of a robot. This gruesome industrial accident would not have happened in a world in which robot behavior was governed by the Three Laws of Robotics drawn up by Isaac Asimov, a science-fiction writer." The article goes on to explore the ethics behind robot soldiers, the liability issues of cleaning droids, and the moral problems posed by sexbots.

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