Lab News

October 1, 2014

Announcing the We Robot 2015 Call for Papers

The 2015 We Robot Call for Papers is now available. Inviting submissions for the fourth annual robotics law and policy conference, We Robot 2015 will be held in Seattle, Washington on April 10-11, 2015 at the University of Washington School of Law. We Robot has been hosted twice at the University of Miami School of Law and once at […]


Augmented Reality: Hard Problems of Law and Policy

Lab alumni Franziska Roesner, Tamara Denning, with Bryce Clayton Newell, and Directors Tadayoshi Kohno, Ryan Calo wrote “Augmented Reality: Hard Problems of Law and Policy” for the recent Workshop on Usable Privacy & Security for wearable and domestic ubIquitous DEvices (UPSIDE). In this paper they describe their vision of AR and explore the unique and difficult problems […]


August 13, 2014

Robotics, Law, and Policy: A Burgeoning Field

Robots are on the rise. From Amazon Prime Air to the new crowd-sourced family robot JIBO, intelligent machines and systems are gaining attention in both the public and academic sectors. The Pew Research Center’s recent report, “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs,” serves as an example for the topic’s growing popularity. The paper details […]


June 30, 2014

Bitcoin: Law and Policy

Answers to “What is Bitcoin” are not difficult to find, from the official website to CNN and Wikipedia, there are great videos to explain the tech definition. A short hand for the Bitcoin technical definition is an “open-source peer-to-peer decentralized cryptocurrency”. But what is Bitcoin to regulators? This piece will look at what the […]


June 6, 2014

Beam Me Up, Scotty (But Pay the Toll First)

(photo credit Flickr/FreePress) Chief Engineer Scott of Star Trek had an answer to long distance travel (be it interstellar or across a backyard): “beaming”. While the technology of disassembling and reassembling people atom by atom remains elusive, many companies today are focusing on a different kind of “beaming” [1] – mobile robotic telepresence (“MRP”). MRP […]


June 2, 2014

“App Stores for the Brain” Wins Best Paper Award

“App Stores for the Brain: Privacy and Security in Brain-Computer Interfaces” recently won the Best Paper award at the 2014 International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science and Technology. This collaboration between Tech Policy Lab Student Scholar Tamara Bonaci, UW Biorobotics Lab co-Director Howard Chizeck and Tech Policy Lab Co-Director Ryan Calo identifies privacy and security issues […]


April 15, 2014

iAffiliates Day with Avatars and Virtual Environments

Sims House

The University of Washington’s iSchool recently held their iAffiliates Day and used the “un-conference concept” to highlight the interesting research being done by members of the iSchool. At an un-conference, ideas for topics are presented to the audience and those that gain interest breaking into smaller groups to discuss them. A staple of the video game industry for years now, the idea of playing a game through an online avatar was one of the topics chosen by the audience. Both offline games like The Sims and massively popular online ones such as World of Warcraft and Second Life place a user in a virtual world behind an avatar. Ran Hinrichs, CEO of 2b3d and member of the iSchool at the University of Washington spoke on the topic. Ran, led a presentation on where the online avatar is today, what we have learned and what we can build.


April 14, 2014

Value Sensitive Design Course Meets Personal Drones

(photo credit Don McCullough) Undergraduate students learn value sensitive design by envisioning the possibilities for personal drones, a new category of personal technology. The Tech Policy Lab provided funds for purchasing drones for classroom use. Prof. David Hendry, Associate Professor, The Information School recently taught an undergraduate class in value sensitive design, a design methodology […]


January 27, 2014

Recent FDA Medical Device Regulation and Its Relevance to Robotics

(Photo Credit AmSurg) 2014 seems poised to be the year of the robot, and some of the most exciting robotic applications appear in medicine.  Regulation can hinder or facilitate innovation in medical robotics.  The giant umbrella that is digital health – which includes telehealth systems, mobile health applications and devices, sensor-based technologies, big data and […]


October 25, 2013

Welcome to the New Home of the Tech Policy Lab

Dr. Friedman, Dr. Kohno, and I are delighted to launch this collaboration, aimed at enhancing technology policy through interdisciplinary research. We are three faculty members at the University of Washington that work on privacy, security, integrity, human rights, and other overlapping issues from different perspectives. Together with our students, interns, and managing fellow, we intend […]