Chapter 80 — Roboethics: Social and Ethical Implications

Roboethics: Prosthesis

Ethical, legal and societal issues in medical robotics. Bionic implants and prosthetics can be used to restore human capabilities and functions. Applications range from human prostheses for locomotion, manipulation, vision, sensing, and other functions: Artificial limbs (legs and arms; artificial internal organs (heart, kidney); artificial senses (eyes, ears...); human augmentation (exoskeletons). This field has an important connection with neuroscience to develop neural interfaces and sensory-motor coordination systems for the integration of these bionic devices with the human body/brain. The very distinction between restoring and enhancing is problematic in some cases insofar as interventions on the human body may have a variety of possibly unpredictable side-effects. Social and economic discrimination towards human beings may arise as a consequence of the enhanced physical and mental properties of super-human cyborgs.
Fiorella Operto
Scuola di Robotica - Manuel Stefanolo (director). Thanks to Centro Protesi INAIL Budrio (Italy) and Mr. Stefano Lippi