IEEE/RSJ International Conference on
Intelligent Robots and Systems
Vancouver, BC, Canada
September 24–28, 2017


Half-Day Open Forum

September 27, 8:30a-12:30p



Raj Madhavan
Founder & CEO, Humanitarian Robotics Technologies, USA
Chair, IEEE RAS Robotics and Automation Research and Practice Ethics Committee (RARPEC)
Chair, IEEE RAS Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT)

Ludovic Righetti
Independent Research Group Leader
Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany

Raja Chatila
Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique
Université Pierre et Marie CURIE



Organized by the IEEE RAS Robotics and Automation Research and Practice Ethics Committee (RARPEC), this Forum is intended as a platform to exchange ideas and discuss the impacts and practice of robotics and automation (R&A) technologies in research, development, and deployment that appear to pose ethical questions for humanity.

With increased awareness and controversies surrounding R&A and AI, this Forum will focus on separating hype from reality by providing an objective and balanced treatment via invited presentations and two panel discussions. It is irrefutable that these technologies are evolving at a rapid pace and that they have the potential to transform and positively impact the lives of people. Perhaps equally undeniable are the fears and concerns associated with their development. While many concerns stem from the confusion surrounding such emerging (autonomous) technologies and a lack of understanding of current capabilities and limitations, their development also raises legitimate ethical and governance questions that should be debated within the community.

For this inaugural RARPEC Forum, we have chosen Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS), Self Driving Cars (SDCs), and the Governance/Regulation concerns surrounding these issues as broad topics for discussions.



The Forum is anticipated to have the following schedule divided into two sessions:

  • Session 1: Autonomous Weapon Systems
    8:30a – 10:00a (1 Keynote + 2 Regular Talks + Q&A)
  • Coffee Break: 10:00a-10:30a
  • Session 2: Self-Driving Cars & Governance/Regulation Practices of Emerging Technologies
    10:30a-12:30p (1 Keynote + 2 Regular Talks + Q&A) 


Intended Audience

We anticipate this Forum to draw a wide variety of audiences from industry, academia, and government. In addition, social/political scientists, ethicists, standards development organizations, legal specialists, and insurance agencies will also find the topics to be of interest.