Cool Experiment Puts Asimov's First Law Of Robotics To The Test

Isaac Asimov's First Law of Robotics states that "a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." That sounds simple enough — but a recent experiment shows how hard it's going to be to get machines to do the right thing.

Roboticist Alan Winfield of Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the UK recently set up an experiment to test a simplified version of Asimov's First Law. He and his team programmed a robot to prevent other automatons, acting as proxies for humans, from falling into a hole.