Exploring the ethical landscape of robot-assisted Search and Rescue

Maaike Harbers*, Joachim de Greeff, Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová, Mark A. Neerincx, Koen V. Hindriks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


As robots are increasingly used in Search and Rescue (SAR) missions, it becomes highly relevant to study how SAR robots can be developed and deployed in a responsible way. In contrast to some other robot application domains, e.g. military and healthcare, the ethics of robot-assisted SAR are relatively under examined. This paper aims to fill this gap by assessing and analyzing important values and value tensions of stakeholders of SAR robots. The paper describes the outcomes of several Value Assessment workshops that were conducted with rescue workers, in the context of a European research project on robot-assisted SAR (the TRADR project). The workshop outcomes are analyzed and key ethical concerns and dilemmas are identified and discussed. Several recommendations for future ethics research leading to responsible development and deployment of SAR robots are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligent Systems, Control and Automation
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Engineering
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameIntelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering
ISSN (Print)2213-8986
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8994


This work is funded by the EU FP7 TRADR project (grant no. 60963).

FundersFunder number
EU FP760963


    • Ethical concerns
    • Human-robot interaction
    • Roboethics
    • Search and rescue robotics
    • Value sensitive design
    • Values


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