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We advocate programming robots to act autonomously only within predefined scenarios and situations. If the scenario and situation that the robot is to perform in is well known and understood, safety precautions can be built in from the start. This helps the robot to be safer for interaction with humans, the robot’s environment, and other machines.

Those of us who program robots have a responsibility to build as many safeguards as necessary to prevent harm to life, the environment, and property. Scenario/situation-based programming helps the programmer to identify and avoid

safety pitfalls. While scenario/situation programming is not sufficient alone to prevent safety mishaps, it is a step in the right direction. Regardless of a robot’s ultimate set of tasks, if autonomy is involved, safety must be taken into consideration.

This is the basis of our SARAA approach to autonomous robots.