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A Spotlight on Security and Privacy Risks with Future Household Robots: Attacks and Lessons

Submitted by on November 12, 2009 – 2:48 am | 222 views

Authors: Tamara Denning, Cynthia Matuszek, Karl Koscher, Joshua R. Smith, and Tadayoshi Kohno

Author Affiliation: Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Paul G. Allen Center

Link: http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/tdenning/files/papers/ubicomp_robots_authors_copy.pdf


Future homes will be populated with large numbers of robots with diverse functionalities, ranging from chore robots to elder care robots to entertainment robots. While household robots will offer numerous benefits, they also have the potential to introduce new security and privacy vulnerabilities into the home. Our research consists of three parts. First, to serve as a foundation for our study, we experimentally analyze three of today’s household robots for security and privacy vulnerabilities: the WowWee Rovio, the Erector Spykee, and the WowWee RoboSapien V2. Second, we synthesize the results of our experimental analyses and identify key lessons and challenges for securing future household robots. Finally, we use our experiments and lessons learned to construct a set of design questions aimed at facilitating the future development of household robots that are secure and preserve their users’ privacy.