WeRobot 2020
TBD | Ottawa, ON

WeRobot Heads North!

Important Message

Dear We Robot Community,

Due to COVID-19 and these extraordinary times, We Robot will not be held in person for 2020. As our conference participants are adapting to the world’s continuing changes, We Robot is adapting too, and will be held virtually on September 22-25, 2020. See the program

We hope you will take part in our virtual activities, and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

The We Robot 2020 Organizing Committee


WeRobot is the premiere international conference on law and policy relating to Robotics. The conference began at Miami Law in 2012, and it returns to Miami roughly every second year, generally alternating between east and west coasts. Recent successful bids for the conference include Yale and Stanford University.

On April 2-4, 2020, the east coast edition was heading north to Canada, and was to be hosted by the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa. Due to COVID-19 and these extraordinary times, We Robot was postponed and will not be held in person for 2020, but virtually on September 22-25, 2020.


Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are transformative technologies and our goal is to anticipate and plan for that transformation. WeRobot speakers include an interdisciplinary mix of scholars, policy-makers, regulators, and entrepreneurs who discuss the latest issues relating to robots and AI in the home, in hospitals, in public places and battlespaces. In each of these domains robots and AI disrupt existing legal regimes or require a rethinking of difficult policy issues.

WeRobot attendees include lawyers, policy makers, engineers, social scientists, philosophers, roboticists, ethicists, and regulators who are on the front lines of robot and AI theory, design, or development. They meet for exciting interdisciplinary conversations and debates that feature designers, developers, and those who deploy robots and AI, as well as the people who are influencing the legal and social structures in which they operate. WeRobot 2020 was to involve around 200 attendees and participants.

The 2020 Virtual Edition

As our conference participants are adapting to the world’s continuing changes, We Robot is adapting too, and the 2020 edition will be held virtually on September 22-25, 2020.

We have received a fantastic slate of paper and poster submissions and we remain committed to providing the authors of the submissions with the highest quality feedback, as is quintessential of We Robot conferences. To this end, we have decided to deliver the conference asynchronously online, using pre-recorded author/discussant sessions.


Over the summer, we worked with authors and discussants to record virtual We Robot paper sessions and panels. Thanks to the hard work of our conference community, we will be able to offer a taste of the spirited We Robot  discussion that we all love. In the We Robot tradition, the videos, most of which will be 30 minutes long, will feature a discussant presenting, discussing and offering constructive thoughts and improvements on the author’s work, after which the author will have time to respond to the discussant’s feedback. 

Conference participants will be able to comment and exchange thoughts and ideas in the comments section of the video. We will welcome constructive comments through the platforms of YouTube (where the videos will be hosted) and Twitter (where the videos will be shared with a broader audience).


The virtual conference will consist of the following online events:

  • A live virtual Kick-Off Event will occur on September 22nd at 5:00 pm EST
  • Virtual Paper discussions: Each recorded discussion will be made available on the We Robot website and shared on Twitter with a unique hashtag. Community members are encouraged to join the conversation.  
  • A live virtual Closing Event will occur on Friday, September 25th at 5:00 pm EST to announce the winners of the paper and poster awards (including the Ian R. Kerr Robotnik Memorial Award for an Emerging Scholar) along with plans for We Robot 2021 (the 10-year anniversary of We Robot!).


See the full program


Connection details will automatically be sent to people who had registered for We Robot 2020 in April. You can ask to be added to the list by sending an email to werobot@uottawa.ca. Registration is free.


Past Conferences


For general inquiries, please contact: werobot@uottawa.ca

For press inquiries and media credentialing, please contact: Isabelle Mailloux Pulkinghorn, Manager, Media Relations, uOttawa at imaillou@uottawa.ca 

About We Robot 2020
› Organizers


Virtual Edition
› Program
› Authors & Discussants
› Papers
› Posters


Original Programing
› Program
› Travel and Accommodation
Call for Proposals
Submissions (EasyChair Portal)













Office of the Vice President, Research

Faculty of Law, Common Law Section

Faculty of Engineering











Back to top