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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Abstract This review covers selected results of recent observations of lightning discharges performed across the entire electromagnetic spectrum (radiofrequency, optical, and energetic radiation) at the Lightning Observatory in Gainesville, Florida. The most important results include (a) characterization of the preliminary-breakdown, stepped-leader, and return-stroke processes in high-intensity (⩾50 kA) negative lightning discharges, (b) the first high-speed video images of bidirectional leader that made contact with the ground and produced a return stroke, (c) discovery of negative stepped leader branches colliding with the lateral surface of neighboring branches of the same leader, (d) new data on the occurrence context and properties of compact intracloud discharges, and (e) observation of a terrestrial gamma-ray flash that occurred during a bipolar cloud-to-ground lightning discharge. The results serve to improve our understanding of the physics of lightning with important implications for lightning modeling, lightning protection, and high-energy atmospheric physics studies.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  3. As robots are becoming more intelligent and more commonly used, it is critical for robots to behave ethically in human-robot interactions. However, there is a lack of agreement on a correct moral theory to guide human behavior, let alone robots. This paper introduces a robotic architecture that leverages cases drawn from different ethical frameworks to guide the ethical decision-making process and select the appropriate robotic action based on the specific situation. We also present an architecture implementation design used on a pill sorting task for older adults, where the robot needs to decide if it is appropriate to provide false encouragement so that the adults continue to be engaged in the training task.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  4. Ethical decision-making is difficult, certainly for robots let alone humans. If a robot's ethical decision-making process is going to be designed based on some approximation of how humans operate, then the assumption is that a good model of how humans make an ethical choice is readily available. Yet no single ethical framework seems sufficient to capture the diversity of human ethical decision making. Our work seeks to develop the computational underpinnings that will allow a robot to use multiple ethical frameworks that guide it towards doing the right thing. As a step towards this goal, we have collected data investigating how regular adults and ethics experts approach ethical decisions related to the use in a healthcare and game playing scenario. The decisions made by the former group is intended to represent an approximation of a folk morality approach to these dilemmas. On the other hand, experts were asked to judge what decision would result if a person was using one of several different types of ethical frameworks. The resulting data may reveal which features of the pill sorting and game playing scenarios contribute to similarities and differences between expert and non-expert responses. This type of approach to programming a robotmore »may one day be able to rely on specific features of an interaction to determine which ethical framework to use in the robot's decision making.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  5. Controlling microbial proliferation in water systems, including wastewater, recreational water, and drinking water, is essential to societal health. Microbial inactivation through electrochemically generated reactive species (RS) mediated pathways provides an effective route toward this microbial control. Herein we provide an overview of recent progress toward electrocatalytic generation of RS and their application in water disinfection, with a focus on the selective production of RS, the microorganism interactions with RS (including both RS mechanisms of action and innate microorganism responses to RS), and practical implementation of electrochemically generated RS for microbial inactivation. The article is concluded with a perspective where the challenges and opportunities of RS‐based electrochemical disinfection of water are highlighted, along with possible future research directions.
  6. This paper describes current progress on developing an ethical architecture for robots that are designed to follow human ethical decision-making processes. We surveyed both regular adults (folks) and ethics experts (experts) on what they consider to be ethical behavior in two specific scenarios: pill-sorting with an older adult and game playing with a child. A key goal of the surveys is to better understand human ethical decision-making. In the first survey, folk responses were based on the subject’s ethical choices (“folk morality”); in the second survey, expert responses were based on the expert’s application of different formal ethical frameworks to each scenario. We observed that most of the formal ethical frameworks we included in the survey (Utilitarianism, Kantian Ethics, Ethics of Care and Virtue Ethics) and “folk morality” were conservative toward deception in the high-risk task with an older adult when both the adult and the child had significant performance deficiencies.
  7. Gong, Y. ; Kpogo, Y. (Ed.)
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 16, 2023