Introduced Version House Bill 2881 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia Legislature

2017 regular session


House Bill 2881

By Delegates Howell, Frich, Dean, Hill, Foster, G., Martin, Hamrick, Arvon, Criss, Lewis and Rohrbach

[Introduced March 9, 2017;
Referred to Industry and Labor then Government Organization.]

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-14-1, §15-14-2 and §15-14-3, relating to robotic technology; making findings; defining terms; and establishing minimum safety standards for the design of any robot operated in the state.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-14-1, §15-14-2 and §15-14-3, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 14.  Safety Standards for robotic technology.

§15-14-1. Findings.

The Legislature makes the following findings:

(1) A growing number of technologies employ robotics to perform tasks traditionally performed by human beings;

(2) In a number of states, autonomous self-driving vehicles are already operated on public roadways;

(3) It is inevitable that robotic technology will play an increasing role in our daily lives in the near future; and

(4) To ensure that robots remain in the service of humans, all robotic technology operated in the State of West Virginia must be designed to comply with certain minimum safety standards.

§15-14-2. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article:

(1) “Autonomous vehicle” means a vehicle that is technologically enabled to be operated without the active physical control or monitoring of a human being.

(2) “Robot” means a reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through various programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks.  The term “robot” includes, but is not limited to, autonomous vehicles.

§15-14-3. Minimum safety standards for robotic technology.

(a) A robot may not be enabled, by design or human command, to injure a human being.

(b) A robot shall be designed to obey the orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with subsection (a).

(c) A robot shall be designed to protect its own existence so long as such protection does not conflict with subsection (a) or subsection (b).


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish minimum safety principles for robotic technology.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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