Eduard Fosch, postdoc at Leiden Law School, studies the legal implications of robots

Interview with LEaDing Fellows postdoc dr. Eduard Fosch-Villaronga

'My name is Eduard Fosch-Villaronga, and I started as a postdoctoral fellow at the eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden Law School in January 2019.'

Eduard Fosch

'I am enthusiastic, multilingual, and have a positive attitude towards change. This comes all very handy in an international postdoc programme such as the LEaDing Fellows. During the past few years, I worked and lived in seven different countries and nine cities. I did an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate (EMJD) Programme in Law, Science & Technology. As opposed to other national programmes, EMJDs are composed by a multi-university consortium and different hosting institutions, so I lived in Italy, Lithuania, Germany, Spain, U.S.. Before of that, I did my MSc in France, and then, as a result of the new academic lifestyle, I also went to the University of Twente and QMUL in London.'

Good quality of life in The Netherlands

'When I was in Enschede, I fell in love with The Netherlands. People are efficient, straightforward, and encourage you to be who you are and flourish as a researcher. The quality of life here is also very high. When the opportunity of the LEaDing Fellows programme came up, I applied, hoping to be selected and settle down here.'

'I am working at the eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden Law School, which is one of the very few centres in Europe that address the implications of new technologies in a multidisciplinary fashion. Since the LEaDing Fellows programme offers you the possibility to work on your specific topic of research, being among academic peers addressing similar issues makes it an ideal work environment.'

Eduard Fosch
Dr Eduard Fosch-Villaronga with Professor Bart Custers, professor of Law and Data Science and director of research at eLaw, Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University

The legal implications of robots and AI for healthcare purposes

'In my research, I address the legal and regulatory implications of the use and development of robot and Artificial Intelligence technologies for healthcare purposes. These include robots for cognitive therapies (e.g., for autism, traumatic brain injury), physical rehabilitation robots (upper-/lower-limb exoskeletons for stroke patient rehabilitation or spinal cord injury), assistive robots that provide companionship and care to the elderly, the disabled or children, and surgery robots.'

'These technologies raise various types of issues and challenges, including privacy concerns, autonomy suppression, replacement of humans, or uncertainty concerning responsibility allocation. In the context of the project, I expect to highlight the specific problems and challenges of regulating complex and dynamic cyber-physical ecosystems in concrete healthcare applications, and to explore potential solutions.'



Cooperation with TU Delft

'I am thrilled to cooperate with TU Delft, for example with the Robotics Institute. I also look forward working together with prof. Mark Neerincx of the Interactive Intelligence Group at TU Delft. We have already met and I was impressed by his projects on robots and healthcare, which might align very well with my project. As part of my personal development, I am taking courses in methodological approaches and writing for a broader public to get more outreach.'

The project of Dr. Eduard Fosch-Villaronga has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska Curie grant agreement No 707404.
More information:
LEaDing Fellows Postdoc Programma
Contact Dr. Eduard Fosch-Villaronga at Leiden University
eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies Leiden Law School

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