The ACI’s first science comic has been published. Within a thrilling crime story it provides articulate information on the potentials and limitations of social robots in the future. The 72-page comic in DIN A4 format is published in print in February and can be read online here.

Social Robots - A Science Comic

A valuable Care Robot Disappears

The story takes place in the near future. Technology has advanced to the point where the first social robots for the health sector are being tested. Shortly before the prototype of a care robot for the elderly is to be shipped for a field study, it disappears without a trace. The young inspector Kira embarks on a journey into the world of science as she investigates her first case. In the process, she learns a lot about social robots, artificial intelligence and the world of international scientific cooperation.

Throughout the story, critics have their say: anti-robot activists protest against automation and a dwindling of humanity and empathy. Even within Kira’s family the care of elderly people by robots is discussed controversially .

Information as the Basis for a Broad Debate

The science comic was designed for both young people and adults – and especially for those who rarely come into direct contact with social robots and artificial intelligence. Another target audience are people working in healthcare, as care and nursing of the elderly are considered one of the most important areas of application for social robots in the future.

The main goal is building knowledge across all age groups so that the potentials and disadvantages of these new technologies can be discussed controversially but knowledgeably. “Social Robots – a Science Comic” is a contribution to an informed discussion in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, ethics and politics. Thus, it is also suitable as a teaching and learning tool.

The Authors

The project was initiated and conceptualized by Prof. Dr. Oliver Korn, founder and director of the ACI. He and his team research and develop assistive technologies and social robots. In addition to teaching and research, it is a major concern of the ACI to contribute to the “third mission” by communicating research findings to the public in an articulate way.

Author and illustrator Jonas Grund develops designs, illustrations and animations for research projects as a research assistant for the ACI. The science comic about detective Kira has become his special passion.

The project was realised with the support of AGYA (Arab German Young Academy).