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Springer Handbook of Robotics

by Redazione FGB [1], 19 March 2009

On 5th February 2009 in Washington DC the Professional and Scholarly Division of the Association of American Publishers announced the winners of the prestigious American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence for 2008 known as the "PROSE Awards 2008 [2]", that are the equivalent of the Oscars in the American field of professional and scientific publications.
Two of these prizes, that of the overall "PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences& Mathematics" and that in the category "PROSE Award in Engineering & Technology", were awarded to the book Springer Handbook of Robotics, co-edited by Prof. Bruno Siciliano [3], of the Federico II University of Naples and Prof. Oussama Khatib [4] of Stanford University (read in comunicato stampa [5]).

(The PROSE [6], awards, created in 1976, are selected annually from a roster of works published in books, journals and electronic formats in 35 different disciplines, The prizes are awarded to works that are pioneering in their respective sectors of scientific research, are innovative in their content and conception and are seen as representing milestones in their field).

In total 165 authors from the sectors of the foundations of robotics, robotic structure, sense and perception, manipulation and interface, mobile and distributed robotics, exploration and service robotics, human/robot interaction and bio-inspired robotics worked for 6 years on the Handbook of Robotics [7] registering more than 10 000 e-mail interactions between the authors and editors. The enormous and complicated work of co-ordinating the authors' activities was carried out by Bruno Siciliano and Oussama Khatib, who also organized and coordinated a special group of 7 "curators".

From this work I would like to draw your attention to the section entitled "Roboethics: Social and Ethical Implications of Robotics" by Gianmarco Veruggio [8] and Fiorella Operto [9]. The abstract and index [10] are currently available on line.

In this chapter the authors debate the principal social and ethical aspects raised by the rapid growth in the use of robots in daily life. This development will soon lead to obvious social and economic changes and pose new ethical problems that not only their developers and end users but also political actors must be prepared for.
Veruggio and Operto review recent events relating to the relationship between science and ethics outlining a philosophical and sociological vision/revision and presenting a new ethics applied to the themes of robots and robotics: roboethics.

The roboetics [11], that we at the Bassetti Foundation refer to in the roboethics section [12] on our site was first presented in 2001/2002 and publicly debated during the first International Symposium on Roboethics [13] in 2004. The page on roboethics [14] in Wikipedia could be a good starting point in order to explore the materials present on the net.

Fiorella Operto has contributed to our site with the article "Robot: il corpo e l'anima [15]" (may 2004) and in conversation [16] with myself and Gian Maria Borrello [17] talking about the problems posed by the new frontier of robotics (aprile 2004). Last year she was interviewed by Jonathan Hankins on behalf of the Bassetti Foundation about developments in robotics ("Robotics: a new science [18]") and in May published the article "Robotica. Una nuova scienza [19]" in the "focus" section of the website.

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Links in this document:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.proseawards.com/docs/2008%20PROSE%20Winners%20Press%20Release.doc
  3. 3] http://wpage.unina.it/sicilian/
  4. 4] http://robotics.stanford.edu/%7Eok/
  5. 5] /it/roboethics/doc/ProseAwards_SpringerHanbookRobotics.pdf
  6. 6] http://www.proseawards.com/
  7. 7] http://www.springer.com/engineering/robotics/book/978-3-540-23957-4
  8. 8] http://www.veruggio.it/
  9. 9] /en/pages/2008/02/fiorella_operto.html
  10. 10] http://www.springerlink.com/content/x68717712v2j3443/fulltext.pdf?page=1
  11. 11] http://www.roboethics.org/
  12. 12] /en/roboethics/
  13. 13] http://www.scuoladirobotica.it/events.php
  14. 14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roboethics
  15. 15] /it/pagine/2008/04/robot_il_corpo_e_lanima.html
  16. 16] /it/pagine/2008/01/dialogo_on_line_tra_fiorella_o.html
  17. 17] /it/pagine/2008/04/20_passi_per_un_dialogo.html
  18. 18] /en/focus/2008/02/robotics_a_new_science.html
  19. 19] /it/focus/2008/04/robotica_una_nuova_scienza.html
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