Ethical and social aspects of neurorobotics

Christine Aicardi, Simisola Akintoye, B Tyr Fothergill, Manuel Guerrero, Gudrun Klinker, William Knight, Lars Klüver, Yannick Morel, Fabrice O Morin, Bernd Carsten Stahl*, Inga Ulnicane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The interdisciplinary field of neurorobotics looks to neuroscience to overcome the limitations of modern robotics technology, to robotics to advance our understanding of the neural system's inner workings, and to information technology to develop tools that support those complementary endeavours. The development of these technologies is still at an early stage, which makes them an ideal candidate for proactive and anticipatory ethical reflection. This article explains the current state of neurorobotics development within the Human Brain Project, originating from a close collaboration between the scientific and technical experts who drive neurorobotics innovation, and the humanities and social sciences scholars who provide contextualising and reflective capabilities. This article discusses some of the ethical issues which can reasonably be expected. On this basis, the article explores possible gaps identified within this collaborative, ethical reflection that calls for attention to ensure that the development of neurorobotics is ethically sound and socially acceptable and desirable.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2020


  • Ethics
  • Human Brain Project
  • Neurorobotics
  • Responsible Research and Innovation

Cite this

Aicardi, C., Akintoye, S., Fothergill, B. T., Guerrero, M., Klinker, G., Knight, W., Klüver, L., Morel, Y., Morin, F. O., Stahl, B. C., & Ulnicane, I. (2020). Ethical and social aspects of neurorobotics. Science and Engineering Ethics.