Robots are no longer confined to factories; they are progressively spreading to urban, social and assistive domains. In order to become handy co-workers and helpful assistants, they must be endowed with quite different abilities from their industrial ancestors. Research on service robots aims to make them intrinsically safe to people, easy to teach by non-experts, able to manipulate not only rigid but also deformable objects, and highly adaptable to non-predefined and dynamic environments. Robots worldwide will share object and environmental models, their acquired knowledge and experiences through global databases and, together with the internet of things, will strongly change the citizens’ way of life in so-called smart cities. This raises a number of social and ethical issues that are now being debated not only within the Robotics community but by society at large.


artificial intelligence, intelligent robots, learning (artificial intelligence), manipulators, robots, service robots, social aspects of automation.

Author keywords

social implications of robotics

Scientific reference

C. Torras. Service robots for citizens of the future. European Review, 24(1): 17-30, 2016.