The present study explores the question of intercultural differences in attitudes towards robotic assistance for care work, by using the concept of “norms of care” as a tertium comparationis for systematic comparative analysis. The main hypothesis is that normative expectations of what constitutes appropriate care work will affect the way how professional caregivers interpret the offers of technological assistance from care robotics. Based on this concept, we have empirically investigated how the reception of assistive robot technology in nursing care takes place and which phenomena emerge as significant intercultural differences. For this purpose, we have conducted HRI experiments with robotic arms designed for tele-manipulated assistance for nursing tasks at the bedside, followed by individual interviews with test subjects. Our comparative analysis shows that significant intercultural differences can be found in framing the norm of care: while the German caregivers focus on the question of whether the sphere of interpersonal trust relationship can be maintained in case of a robotization of care services and problematize the potential threat to dignity of individuals, the non-German caregivers generally follow a collective principle of care relationship and apply it as a central criterion for moral evaluation of technology use.
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