PAL Robotics in support of the pledge: ‘General Purpose Robots Should Not Be Weaponized’

PAL Robotics: General purpose robots should not be weaponized

PAL Robotics supports the pledge against the weaponisation of general robots

We are very much against any type of weaponization or military use of robots, which is in line with our brand values.

Francesco Ferro, CEO of PAL Robotics

At PAL Robotics we are passionate about and committed to developing service robotics to enhance people’s quality of life. Since 2004, we have been designing and manufacturing humanoid robots, as well as in more recent years solutions for manufacturing and retail. We are dedicated to the constant development of our robots – both the hardware and software, constantly tailoring them to better fit the needs of our customers, for new use cases, and to help society as a whole. PAL Robotics has solutions that are used worldwide for industry, logistics, service, and retail.  

PAL Robotics’ Vision

Our vision is to lead service robotics advancements and provide the best value to our customers and the people interacting with our robots.

PAL Robotics’ Mission

Our mission at PAL Robotics is to enhance people’s quality of life through service robotics.

PAL Robotics’ brand values

Our brand values are:

  • Transparency
  • Customer Commitment
  • Innovation & Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Loyalty
  • Non-military
  • Quality and Trust

With relatively new and emerging technologies there is always the possibility of misuse, including weaponizing robots. Our CEO Franceso Ferro comments, “At PAL Robotics we strongly believe in the power of robotics to gradually transform our daily lives, helping us on a personal level and making our day-to-day tasks easier. In addition to this, we see robotics as fundamental in aiding positive changes in society, for example, by improving industrial workflows, assisting in education, helping in hospitals, and offering support in caring for older people with a population that is aging. Today’s robots are increasingly designed to be more accessible, particularly by non-robotics experts, however, we must acknowledge that this may also bring with it some risks.” 

“We are strongly in favour of robotics to improve and enhance the society we live in. To that end, we are very much against any type of weaponization or military use of robots, which is in line with our values as a brand – our brand values have always included ‘non-military’. We would like to affirm our support for the letter titled ‘General purpose robots should not be weaponized,’ recently published by ANYbotics, Agility Robotics, Boston Dynamics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics, and Unitree.”

“As a company, we encourage the safe use of all service and general-purpose robots, and prohibit their misuse. At PAL Robotics we pledge not to build, authorize, support, or enable the attachment of weaponry to such robots.”

Here we include the original letter with the pledge we are supporting in full:

General Purpose Robots Should Not Be WeaponizedAn Open Letter to the Robotics Industry and our Communities,

We are some of the world’s leading companies dedicated to introducing new generations of advanced mobile robotics to society.  These new generations of robots are more accessible, easier to operate, more autonomous, affordable, and adaptable than previous generations, and capable of navigating into locations previously inaccessible to automated or remotely-controlled technologies.  We believe that advanced mobile robots will provide great benefits to society as co-workers in industry and companions in our homes.  

As with any new technology offering new capabilities, the emergence of advanced mobile robots offers the possibility of misuse.  Untrustworthy people could use them to invade civil rights or to threaten, harm, or intimidate others. One area of particular concern is weaponization. We believe that adding weapons to robots that are remotely or autonomously operated, widely available to the public, and capable of navigating to previously inaccessible locations where people live and work, raises new risks of harm and serious ethical issues. Weaponized applications of these newly-capable robots will also harm public trust in the technology in ways that damage the tremendous benefits they will bring to society. For these reasons, we do not support the weaponization of our advanced-mobility general-purpose robots. For those of us who have spoken on this issue in the past, and those engaging for the first time, we now feel renewed urgency in light of the increasing public concern in recent months caused by a small number of people who have visibly publicized their makeshift efforts to weaponize commercially available robots.

We pledge that we will not weaponize our advanced-mobility general-purpose robots or the software we develop that enables advanced robotics and we will not support others to do so. When possible, we will carefully review our customers’ intended applications to avoid potential weaponization. We also pledge to explore the development of technological features that could mitigate or reduce these risks. To be clear, we are not taking issue with existing technologies that nations and their government agencies use to defend themselves and uphold their laws.

We understand that our commitment alone is not enough to fully address these risks, and therefore we call on policymakers to work with us to promote safe use of these robots and to prohibit their misuse. We also call on every organization, developer, researcher, and user in the robotics community to make similar pledges not to build, authorize, support, or enable the attachment of weaponry to such robots. We are convinced that the benefits for humanity of these technologies strongly outweigh the risk of misuse, and we are excited about a bright future in which humans and robots work side by side to tackle some of the world’s challenges.

See the original letter shared in Business Wire

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