Service robotics has increasingly become the focus of reflective research on

Service robotics has increasingly become the focus of reflective research on new technologies over the last decade. in den Fokus der Reflexionsforschung zu neuen Technologien gerckt. Der Stand der Technik ist durch prototypische Robotersysteme gepr?gt, die fr konkrete Anwendungsszenarien 483-15-8 au?erhalb von Fabrikhallen entwickelt wurden. Damit wurden kontextbezogene Science and Technology Studies und Technikfolgenbeurteilungen zu service-robotischen Systemen m?glich. Dieser Beitrag beschreibt den Status Quo dieser Reflexionsforschung als Ausgangsbasis fr eine interdisziplin?re Technikfolgenabsch?tzung (TA), wobei neben TA-Studien insbesondere Publikationen aus ethischer und empirisch-sozialwissenschaftlicher Perspektive bercksichtigt wurden. Abschlie?end werden auf der Basis dieses Status Quo Beurteilungskriterien fr Serviceroboter entwickelt, die fr eine weiterfhrende Reflexionsforschung relevant sind. Introduction A multiperspective approach can be considered to be constituent for problem-oriented research in technology assessment (Grunwald 2010:19ff). The perspectives that are to be included, or rather the dimensions that could be used to judge the underlying situation, are for example (according to Btschi et al. 2004) the (1) technical dimension, (2) political dimension, (3) societal dimension, (4) innovation dimension, and (5) knowledge dimension. Regarding item 1, since service robotics is to be examined, the technical dimension is basically given. In the past few years, robotic research has developed systems that are capable of providing services,1 and it is the intended and unintended consequences of these technologies that are to be studied. An important precondition for doing this is to put service robotics in a context of use and to judge it in such contexts. The user contexts presented in this study have already been described in detail elsewhere (Decker et al. 2011). They are, for example, service robots in agriculture, service robots in telematics, and service robots in the care sector. Regarding item 2, for the dimensions named above and at the level of generalization appropriate here, it can be said that service robotics can hardly be found on the current political agenda. If it is so, then at most as a topic of discussion in connection with medical care. However, service robotics has been a topic for research policy for a longer period of time, and various technology development programs on service robots (and on the related topic of ambient assisted living) and reflective programs on technology have already been conducted (see Sect. 2). The discussion of robots for military use plays a special role, leading to related issues of international policy (Singer 2009). Regarding item 3, the societal dimension can be described as being relatively unagitated. Reports about service robots can be found frequently on the science pages of newspapers. The tenor of the reporting can be described as balanced to critical, or even as positive whenever concrete technological systems are presented.2 There are no 483-15-8 major social controversies about service robots, and initial studies of their acceptance have been conducted (Sect. 2). For example, a museum robot that guides visitors meets with more interested curiosity than with surprise or anxiety. Science fiction literature and films appear to have prepared society for robots although robots are still a very infrequent manifestation Lox in our life world (Christaller et al. 2001:28). Regarding item 4, the degree of innovation demonstrated by service robot systems varies, with prototypes being one area of emphasis. Some of the systems are in an advanced laboratory state, which means that prototypes have been developed far enough that empirical research with probands 483-15-8 is possible. The first commercially distributed prototypes are also on the market. Few service robot systems, such as vacuum cleaner robots, lawn mower robots, and even milking robots, can be considered as having reached the market (see Robo.org). Among these systems are also military applications such as the unmanned reconnaissance aircraft Global Hawk. Regarding item 5, the last dimension, the knowledge available to us, is comparatively well documented from a technical perspective. The Robo Cup competitions (football, at home, and rescue), which can be interpreted as a benchmark, help us to reach an assessment. With regard to reflective research in general and to that for technology assessment in particular, the aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the status quo of available knowledge which in turn leads to the concluding discussion (Sect. 4). Technology assessment studies An increasing amount of technology assessment research on.

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