Ryan Calo on personal robots

by on August 16, 2011

On the podcast this week, Ryan Calo, a scholar at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, discusses his new article in the Maryland Law Review entitled “Open Robotics.” Robots are frequently used in war, manufacturing, warehouse management, and even in surgery. Now, personal robots are poised to be the new explosive technology, and Calo anticipates their social effect to be on par with that of the personal computer. He discusses why he believes personal robots are more likely to thrive if they are built on an open model–rather than closed or proprietary framework–even though robots open to third-party tinkering may be subject to greater legal liability than closed, discrete-function robots. To protect open-model innovation, Calo recommends immunity for manufacturers of open robotic platforms for what end users do with these platforms, akin to the immunity enjoyed under federal law by firearms manufacturers and websites.

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