16899E: Ethics and Robotics
Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Illah R. Nourbakhsh

[Introduction | Contact info | Announcements | Course Website ]


The course syllabus, which I will keep up to date, is now available.


As robotic products begin to integrate more comprehensively with society, the relationship between robotic interaction and the ethical ramifications of this technologies. impact becomes very relevant from viewpoints of design, critical analysis, legislation and widespread adoption. In this class we study the peculiar aspects of robotics that reveals ethical issues with new urgency, and study explicit and unintended consequences of new technology on personal, organizational and cultural levels. This course uses readings from psychology, sociology, human factors and classical texts to provide ethical analytical frameworks, then turns to recent robotic experiments and new advances in robotic technologies. Students will participate in discussions based on assigned readings, and will work in teams on in-depth analyses of concurrent robotics projects.

Prerequisites: This course has no prerequisites other than a willingness to engage with boundary issues in readings and in class discussions.

Text: There is no text for this course, although a number of textbook sections and many articles will be assigned and read as part of this course.

Method of Evaluation: Students will be graded based on the following activities and content:

  • reading responses
  • reports on assigned follow-up research
  • in-course participation
  • two in-class presentations
  • final individual projects
  • Contact info


    Class will be Mondays and Wednesdays 10.30AM - 11.50AM in Newell Simon Hall 3002.

    [ The Robotics Institute | Carnegie Mellon University ]

    Illah R. Nourbakhsh ( illah@cs.cmu.edu)