Robotics is a massively diverse area ranging from simple rules based applications to neural networks attempting to mimic the human ability to think.
While there is certainly a case for considering legislative control of the more sophisticated end of the market, at its most simple robotics does little other than automate what a human would do keystroke by keystroke in an otherwise repetitive process.
Legislators do not have the capacity to identify where the threats lie and indeed insurers have even less understanding of the risks of robotics or how to formulate a policy to mitigate the effects of robotics failure.
The marketplace for robotics will develop and alongside it the vocabulary for describing and understanding the different categories of robotics will emerge. Data will become available on which to base pricing for insurance and we might have a way forward. However, today, whatever the European Parliament may want, there is not a capability to insure robots.
Robots are becoming ubiquitous. Do we need specific insurance? And do they? In February, the European Parliament adopted a resolution asking the European Commission to give robots a form of ‘electronic personhood’ in order to make sure they remain at the service of humans. What counts as a robot is very broad: anything from a driverless car to the Amazon Echo could be defined as such. The thought of a drone being given a status sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie, where mankind is savaged by the rise of the machines. But the concept of giving robots a status is more to do with establishing clarity around regulation and liability, and less about unmanned aerial vehicles wreaking havoc on innocent civilians.