Tufts Brown RPI ONR

Moral Competence in Computational Architectures for Robots

Home Summary Publications Press Videos About


Moral Competence in Computational Architectures for Robots is a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), awarded in 2014 by the Department of Defense (via the Office of Naval Research) to a team of researchers from Tufts University, Brown University, RPI, Georgetown University, and Yale University. Its purpose is to identify the logical, cognitive, and social underpinnings of human moral competence, model those principles of competence in human-robot interactions, and demonstrate novel computational means by which robots can reason and act ethically in the face of complex, practical challenges.

For full summary see the Summary page...

Sample Publications

Bertram Malle, and Matthias Scheutz (2014) Moral competence in social robots proceedings of ieee international symposium on ethics in engineering, science, and technology (ethics)

Bertram Malle, Matthias Scheutz, Thomas Arnold, John Voiklis, and Corey Cusimano (2015) Sacrifice one for the good or many? People apply different moral norms to human and robot agents proceedings of 10th acm/ieee international conference on human-robot interaction

See more project publications on the Publications page


Questions about what actions robots will and should have the leeway, direction, or authority to carry out have elicited fears, fantasies, and a wide range of future projections. To contribute usefully to these larger public discussions, MURI investigators have sought to discuss critical questions of social responsibility while grounded in real-world research, policy, design, and engineering.

For MURI-related articles and other pieces see the Press tab

Videos about our research

See more robot videos on the Video page

Principal Investigator


Professor Matthias Scheutz

Director, Human-Robot Interaction Laboraotry

Co-Principal Investigator


Professor Bertram Malle

Co-Principal Investigator


Professor Selmer Bringsjord

Follow Us