CITP Luncheon Speaker Series:
Peter Asaro – Regulating Robots:
Challenges and Approaches to Developing Policy for Robots

CITP Luncheon Series

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Location: 306 Sherrerd Hall
Streaming Live:

Food and discussion begin at 12:30 pm. Open to current Princeton faculty, staff, and students. Open to members of the public by invitation only. Please contact Laura Cummings-Abdo at if you are interested in attending a particular lunch.

Robotics stands on the cusp of an explosion of applications and wide-spread adoption. Already the development and popular use of small UAV drones is gaining momentum, self-driving cars could be market-ready in a few short years, and the next generation of fully-autonomous military drones are in development. Yet the regulatory policies necessary to ensure the social and economic benefits of these technologies are not yet in place. The FAA has struggled to devise operational regulations for small UAV drones, and has not yet addressed the privacy concerns they raise. Google has influenced state legislatures to pass laws permitting self-driving cars, yet the liability issues and insurance regulations are open questions, as are the safety requirements for these cars to interact with human drivers. And while the United Nations has begun discussions over the possible need to regulate fully autonomous weapons, the development of such systems continues at rapid pace. I will present my work on some of these issues, as well as ask whether a more comprehensive regulatory framework might be able to address the questions of ensuring public safety and privacy in the coming revolution in robotics.


Peter Asaro is a Visiting Fellow at CITP, Assistant Professor at the School of Media Studies of The New School, and an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. He is also co-founder and vice-chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, and spokesperson for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition of NGOs. His research focuses on the ethical, legal and policy implications of robotic systems. He is currently working on a book that examines agency and autonomy, liability and punishment, and privacy and surveillance as it applies to the design and use of consumer robots, industrial automation, smart buildings, autonomous vehicles, UAV drones, and military robots. He received his PhD in philosophy and master of computer science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.