Japan creates Asimov-like robotic laws

May 31, 2006

Japan is creating "robotic laws" along the lines envisioned by scientist Isaac Asimov in the Laws of Robotics he presented in a 1940 science fiction novel.

The set of safety guidelines would emulate Asimov's First Law of Robotics: "A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm," technovelgy.com reported.

The rules being created by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry include requiring manufacturers to install sensors to keep robots from running into people, with light or soft materials used in building the robots.

In addition, emergency shut-off buttons will also reportedly be required.

Japanese manufacturers are interested in creating robots to ease a labor shortage in that nation's elder care industry, technovelgy.com said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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