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Experimental Communities for Robots
Planned new developments could hasten the day when robots of all kinds can safely interact with humans in unstructured settings.
By Mark Ingebretsen

Take it as a sign of just how quickly the robotics industry is maturing that we already have efforts underway to legally integrate robots in non-factory and non-military environments. Last June, for example, as we reported, Nevada took steps to make driving robotic vehicles legal on public roads. Then last month, we noted that President Obama signed an FAA bill, which included a measure requiring the agency to integrate unmanned aerial craft into the public airwaves by 2015. The challenges of allowing robots to operate safely in unpredictable public environments are huge, of course. It’s hard to know, in the end, which will prove more complicated: the technical or legal hurdles. However, a new way or studying and overcoming these challenges is emerging.

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