Robots that resemble human beings can be useful artefacts (humanoid robots) or they can be a new way of expressing scientific theories about human beings and human societies (human robots), and while humanoid robots must necessarily be physically realized, human robots may be just simulated in a computer. If the simulated robots do everything that human beings do, the theory which has been used to construct the robots explains human behaviour and human societies. This chapter is dedicated to human robots and it describes a number of individual and social human phenomena that have already been replicated by constructing simulated human robots and simulated robotic societies. At the end of the chapter, we briefly discuss some of the problems that human robots will pose to human beings.
Part of the book: Robotics