Japan drafts rules for advanced robots

April 6, 2007

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has drafted guidelines designed to keep future generations of robots on their best behavior.

The document, titled "Draft Guidelines to Secure the Safe Performance of Next Generation Robots," calls for the Japanese government to convene a panel of industrialists, academics, ministry officials and lawyers to create stricter measures governing the development of advanced robotic machines, The Times of London reported Friday.

The document is designed to prevent risks to humans in a world where robots may soon be used for cleaning, cooking and other tasks.

"Risk shall be defined as a combination of the occurrence rate of danger and the actual level of danger," the document states.

"Risk estimation involves estimating the potential level of danger and evaluating the potential sources of danger. Therefore total risk is defined as the danger of use of robots and potential sources of danger."

The draft calls for all advanced robots to be equipped with a logging system for cataloging injuries they cause to humans.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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