IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
Special issue on: "Introspective Methods for Reliable Autonomy"
Submission deadline: 31 January 2018


As humans, understanding our own limitations, failures and shortcomings is a key for improvement and development. This knowledge is crucial for altering our behaviors, e.g. to execute tasks in a more cautious way. Correspondingly, equipping robots with a set of skills that allows them to assess the quality of their sensory data, internal models, used methods etc. will greatly improve their overall performance. The problem of introspection, directly or indirectly, relates to other research topics: planning, execution monitoring, active perception and mapping. Accordingly, an improved understanding of introspection in robotics has a direct impact on a large variety of application areas (e.g. search and rescue, intralogistic, assistive robotics. The introspection impacts the most the following aspects of robotics system: safety, reliability and the maintenance costs. Information on the internal state of the robot is crucial to make decisions if it is safe to execute the assigned mission considering not only the current state of the perceived
environment, but also the internal state of the robot. Continuous monitoring of the internal state of the robot and automatic assessment can be also used to enhance the maintenance process. Information about the internal state of the robot can be used to estimate the likelihood of potential failure and tailor the efforts to prevent it or to speed up the recovery or repair process by providing detailed information to a human operator or even enable self-repair.
Introspection takes active role in the process of preventing of malfunctions of the robotic system and help to speed the repair process up. These two features have direct impact on the running cost of a robotic system. Preventing unplanned interruptions in the robot operation and shortening the time of the planned interruptions has a direct impact on the cost of robot exploitation.
It is also important to remember that introspective information is a cornerstone of all methods aiming to robotics self-improvement. It provides information crucial in the learning and development process. In this context, it is possible to draw a parallel between human and robotic system. Assessment of the internal state is important input helping to anticipate if the planned action is feasible for the agent (either human or robot). For a complex system, it is difficult to perform such assessment relying only on predefined set of rules and conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to use learning algorithms which will be able to connect the preexisting internal and external conditions with the outcome of a planned action. In such a configuration, a failure became a crucial element of a learning process of an autonomous system.
Finally, it is important to emphasis that introspection is a topic which spans across multiple fields. The introspection is originally a human ability. It is recent years when the idea of
introspection is also becoming present in the field of robotics. Therefore, to obtain a complete picture of the problem of introspection in autonomous systems it is important to have a closer look also at psychological aspect of introspection. Moreover, the impact of introspection in the context of the cognitive science cannot be overlooked.

The primary topic of this issue

How to assess the quality of internal models, methods, sensory data and the hardware used by robots and how to alter their behavior using this information?

The aim of this special issue is fourfold:

* Survey the state of the art in the field.
* Define open research questions in the field.
* Provide a venue to present the recent developments in the field of
* Present system papers showing how introspection is integrated and
affects performance of a system.


This special issue is addressed to researchers interested in the development of introspective methods for robust autonomy across different research areas. We expect to receive
submissions relevant for following research fields, but to name a few: Long term autonomy, safe operation of robots under uncertanity, performance awareness, reliable-aware operation, cooperative robotics, cognitive and learning robots, developmental robotics, Human-Robot Interaction. Introspection is broad term covering a set of topics.
Topics relevant to this special issue include, but are not limited to:
* Internal assessment (Map quality assessment, Perception quality
assessment, Classification quality assessment)
* Analysis (Failure analysis, Execution monitoring, Meta-reasoning)
* Introspection-related actions (Failure recovery, Reconfigurable
robots, Planning with uncertainty)


31 January 2018 - Deadline for manuscript submissions.
15 May 2018 - Notification of authors
15 June 2018 - Deadline for submission of revised manuscripts
31 July 2018 - Final decisions


Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Information for Authors of the journal found at
and submissions should be made through the IEEE TCDS Manuscript Center at selecting the category SI: Introspective Methods for Reliable Autonomy.


The IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems (TCDS) focuses on advances in the study of development and cognition in natural (humans, animals) and artificial (robots, agents) systems. It welcomes contributions from multiple related disciplines including cognitive systems, cognitive robotics, developmental and epigenetic robotics, autonomous and evolutionary robotics, social structures, multi-agent and artificial life systems, computational neuroscience, and developmental psychology. Articles on theoretical, computational, application-oriented, and experimental studies as well as reviews in these areas are considered.


Yaochu Jin
University of Surrey, Surrey, United Kingdom


Tomasz Piotr Kucner, Örebro University, Sweden
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Soren Schwertfeger, ShanghaiTech University, China
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Martin Magnusson, Örebro University, Sweden
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Achim J. Lilienthal, Örebro University, Sweden
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Rudolph Triebel, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, Germany
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IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine seeks articles for a Special Issue on Floating-base (Aerial and Underwater) Manipulation

During the last 20 years, underwater robots have been widely used as a tool for mapping the seafloor using optical and acoustic sensors, with applications to offshore sites inspection, marine geology, underwater archaeology to mention but a few. At the same time, aerial robots are also limited to monitoring and surveillance applications, and research has mainly focused on topics such as perception and navigation. However, a large number of applications exist that go beyond the survey capabilities, and the possibility of manipulating objects with these two challenging technologies could open up an entire set of new applications.

Both underwater and aerial robots are floating-base robotic systems, and this fact makes their control different from classic ground mobile manipulators. From a research perspective, topics and issues such as coordinated control of the whole floating manipulator system, safe interaction with the environment, disturbance rejection, object perception from a floating base, are still important challenges to be solved.

This special issue will provide up-to-date results and novel advanced solutions for floating manipulation, both from the point of view of aerial and underwater fields. In particular, this issue aims to bring together two communities that have so far operated in parallel but without too much interaction, despite the similarities between the two fields.

The topics of interest for paper submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Design of aerial or underwater manipulation systems
  • Underwater/aerial hands and grippers
  • Mechatronics of manipulators optimized for floating operation
  • Coordinated control of floating base and manipulator
  • Cooperative control of multiple floating manipulators
  • Perception and precise localization for floating manipulation
  • Physical interaction of floating base manipulators
  • Techniques for assisted remote manipulation
  • Learning techniques for floating manipulation
  • Motion planning of floating manipulators
  • Fault tolerant approaches for floating manipulators
  • Any other key enabling technology for floating manipulation


Deadline for paper submission: 15 December 2017
Final notification: August 2018
Expected publication: December 2018

Submission guidelines

Guest Editors

Matteo Fumagalli, Aalborg University, Denmark
Enrico Simetti, University of Genova, Italy

This one day event will be held at the National Academy of Sciences Building, Washington, DC USA on Friday, 13 October 2017


TechEthics HERO REG 875x250 logos

The inaugural IEEE Tech Ethics Conference features luminaries in technology, philosophy, ethics, and policy development. This highly interactive event will feature keynotes by Rodney Brooks and Danielle Bassett, multimedia showings by Heather Knight, and panels on:

  • The Social, Personal and Economic Impacts of AI
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles ... and Ships and More: How Autonomous Transportation Systems are Impacting Society
  • Will Neuroscience Research Lead to Conscious AI?
  • Influencing the Next Generation of Engineers via Ethics Education

Be part of the conversation! Join us as we explore the ethical and societal implications of technology.
For more information see:

The Deadline to vote is 25 October 2017!

RAS members are voting to elect six new members of the RAS Administrative Committee to serve 3-year terms beginning 1 January 2018. All RAS members (Graduate Student Members and above) have received voting instructions, the biographies, and statements of the candidates by email. RAS membership must be active as of 15 August 2017 to be eligible to vote. Members who do not have valid emails registered with the IEEE or have opted not to receive e-mail from IEEE, have received their election materials by post.

election vote button

Use to access the ballot and cast your vote now. If you do not remember your password, you may retrieve it on the voter login page. Voting must be completed no later than 25 October 2017. Any returns received after this date will not be counted. The online voting site will close at 4:00 pm Eastern Time.

Click here to review the candidates' bios and position statements.

If you have any questions about the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society voting process, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1 732-562-3904.

Do you have code associated with your published article? Whether your article was published recently or a few years ago, you can now get even more exposure - and credit - for your work by making the underlying code available to readers.

IEEE has partnered with Code Ocean to make this as easy as possible for you. Code Ocean’s platform enables you to upload and run your code, making it fully reproducible, executable and citable. Not only will you have the opportunity for more citations and visibility of your research, it will be easier for fellow researchers to replicate or build-upon your hard work.

Once the code is published, it will be discoverable to the larger scientific community and a new tab will automatically be added to your article page in IEEE Xplore. See how it works with this example code and associated article published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.

code ocean graphic for article.fw

What kind of code is appropriate?

From software engineering to data-intensive applications to computer science, we welcome all code from the IEEE Computer Society. The code, whether simple or complex, should be executable and produce output or results tied to the research within your article. For more questions, visit the FAQ page or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Need help in setting it up? Code Ocean’s team is ready to assist through the built-in chat.

RAS is pleased to arrange three Luncheon Networking events for our Members attending IROS 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. Space is limited for these popular events. Don't miss the chance to attend either or both because the space has been filled. Advanced registration is required. The cost is $5 per lunch. Register Now! To add these lunches to your registration, please use the "Modify your Registration" link found in your confirmation email, or click the "Already Registered?" Link on the registration website. Using your email address and confirmation number, you will then be able to modify your registration to include the event. If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RAS Women in Engineering Leadership (WIE) Luncheon

Monday, 25 September from 12:00-13:00
Room 306 of the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (3rd floor)
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Women in Engineering (WIE) luncheon provides an opportunity to foster discussion on the role of women in robotics and automation, inspire girls and promote collaborations and initiatives to advance women in leadership. As the goal for this event is to be more than a lunch for women, but a lunch with women. Therefore, men are more than welcome to participate and enjoy the discussion.

Chair: Laura Margheri, RAS Women in Engineering Committee Chair

Sabine Hauert

Sabine Hauert small

Sabine Hauert is Assistant Professor in Robotics at the University of Bristol in the UK. Her research focusses in designing swarms that work in large numbers (>1000), and at small scales (<1 cm). Profoundly cross-disciplinary, Sabine works between Engineering Mathematics, the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, and Life Sciences. Before joining the University of Bristol, Sabine engineered swarms of nanoparticles for cancer treatment at MIT, and deployed swarms of flying robots at EPFL.

Sabine is also President and Co-founder of, a non-profit dedicated to connecting the robotics community to the world.

As an expert in science communication with 10 years of experience, Sabine is often invited to discuss the future of robotics and AI, including in the journal Nature, at the European Parliament, and at the Royal Society. Her work has been featured in mainstream media including BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Economist, TEDx, WIRED, and New Scientist.


RAS Lunch with Leaders - LwL (for Students)

Tuesday, 26 September from 12:00 to 13:00
Room 301 of the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (3rd floor)
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This luncheon is open to student attendees and offers the chance to meet and interact with RAS and Industry Leaders. Get your questions answered regarding career advice, the direction of the industry, future growth in robotics & automation, publication practices, etc. YOU decide the topic of conversation!

Chair: Megan Emmons, RAS Student Activities Chair

Confirmed Leaders include:

Satoshi Takodoro, Torsten Kroeger, Yasushi Nakauchi, Eugenio Guglielmelli, Ron Lumia, Jing Xiao, Ning Xi, Raja Chatila, David Orin, Wolfram Burgard, Nancy Amato, Antonio Bicchi, Peter Corke, Richard Vaughan, Tony Maciejewski, Bram Vandervorght and…..


 Young Professionals Luncheon (SOLD OUT)

Tuesday, 26 September from 12:00 to 13:00
Room 306 of the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (3rd floor)
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This event aims at bringing together representatives from the organizers/winners of the recent robotic competitions and challenges, and RAS young professionals to enjoy a meal and open discussions on how robotics challenges and competitions can advance robotics research and drive forward the technology.

Chair: Arash Ajoudani, PhD. (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)


Sven Behnke, PhD. Professor, Universität Bonn
Title of the talk: “Advancing Robotics Research through Robot Competitions and Challenges”

 Sven Behnke s

Dr. Sven Behnke received his MS degree in Computer Science (Dipl.-Inform.) in 1997 from Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. In 2002, he obtained a PhD in Computer Science (Dr. rer. nat.) from Freie Universität Berlin. He spent the year 2003 as postdoctoral researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, CA. From 2004 to 2008, Professor Behnke headed the Humanoid Robots Group at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Since April 2008, he is professor for Autonomous Intelligent Systems at the University of Bonn and director of the Institute of Computer Science VI. His research interests include cognitive robotics, computer vision, and machine learning.


Joey Durham, PhD. Manager, AMAZON Research and Advanced Development
Title of the talk: “Grasping Innovation and the Amazon Robotics Challenge”

J Durham

Joey Durham is Manager of Research and Advanced Development at Amazon Robotics. His team focuses on resource allocation algorithms, machine learning, and path planning for robotic warehouses. He also runs the Amazon Robotics Challenge robotic manipulation contest. Joey joined Kiva Systems after completing his Ph.D. at the University of California at Santa Barbara in distributed coordination for teams of robots. He has been with the company through its acquisition and growth into Amazon Robotics. Previously he worked on path planning for autonomous vehicles at Stanford University for the DARPA Grand Challenge.


Fabio Bonsignorio, PhD, Biorobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
Title of the talk: "IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine: Introducing the 'R-papers', towards Reproducible Research in robotics."

fabio bonsignorio

In the coming issue of RAM (September), we will announce a new kind of papers: the 'R-papers'.
'R' stands for 'reproducible' and this a first for the Robotics community. No other high-quality publication venue gives this (much needed) possibility.

If you have been affected by a major natural disaster such as a earthquake or hurricane, with substantial disruption of operational capabilities (e.g. University shut down), we can grant an ad-hoc extension of the deadline by a maximum of one week.

In these cases, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. explaining the details of the situation.

IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering: 
Special Issue on Automation Science and Engineering for Smart and Interconnected Healthcare Delivery Systems

There has been growing interest in managing healthcare delivery systems worldwide coupled with a recent influx of funding into the area. Automation is important for healthcare systems engineering. In recent years, the significant changes in healthcare delivery systems and the rapidly development in information technology, data analytics, wearable devices, etc., have generated numerous opportunities for innovation in automation for healthcare delivery systems. In addition, many new challenges have emerged in order to apply and implement these innovations. Such opportunities and challenges have significantly expanded the scopes of traditional automation science and engineering. The goal of this special issue on recent advances in automation science and engineering for healthcare delivery systems is to bring together researchers, clinicians, and healthcare practitioners into a forum, to show the state-of-the-art research and applications in the general area of automation science and engineering for healthcare delivery systems, by presenting efficient scientific and engineering solutions, addressing the needs and challenges for integration with new technologies, and providing visions for future research and development. The central theme of the proposed special issue is on emerging opportunities and future directions in automation science and engineering for healthcare delivery systems, where information technology based modeling, analysis, control and optimization are the focus areas, and broad aspects and issues will be well discussed. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Automated monitoring and alarming system
  • Automated diagnosis, response, and intervention system
  • Electronic triage, visit, referral, and consult system
  • Information control and coordination system for healthcare delivery
  • Patient-centered smart care transition and intervention system
  • System modeling and control of interconnected care delivery
  • Human-machine interactions in healthcare delivery
  • Real-time scheduling and capacity management system
  • Modeling of patient engagement and safety in healthcare delivery
  • Home-based care activity management system
  • Big data and artificial intelligence for smart healthcare delivery
  • Healthcare delivery logistics and supply chain management
  • System application of robotics, sensors, IoT and wearable devices

Important Dates

1 October 2017: paper submission deadline
1 February 2018: completion of the first round review
1 July 2018: completion of the second round review
1 August 2018: final submission due
1 October 2018: tentative publication date

Guest Editors

Jingshan Li - University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA  
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Xiaolan Xie - Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne, France
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Jie Song - Peking University, China
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Hui Yang - Penn State University, USA
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Gregory Faraut - Ecole Normale Superieure Paris-Saclay, France 
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Paper Submission

All papers are to be submitted through the IEEE’s Manuscript Central for IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering Please select “Special Issue” under Manuscript Category of your submission. All manuscripts must be prepared according to the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering publication guidelines Please address inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Congratulations to the following IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2017) Award Recipients! Winners were announced and honored during the Awards Ceremony which took place on 22 August 2017 in Xi'an, China. Presentations made by CASE Award Chair Bengt Lennartson.

IEEE-CASE Best Conference Paper Award

An annual award to recognize the Best Conference Paper of the IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE) presented in current year.

Best Conference Paper

"Energy-Efficient Elevating Transfer Vehicle Routing for Automated Multi-Level Material Handling Systems"
by Zhou Fang and Jianfeng Mao







IEEE-CASE Best Application Paper Award

Best Application Paper

"Development of Advanced Manufacturing Cloud of Things (AMCoT) - a Smart Manufacturing Platform"
by Yu-Chuan Lin, Min-Hsiung Hung, Hsien-Cheng Huang, Chao-Chun Chen, Haw-Ching Yang, Yao-Sheng Hsieh and Fan-Tien Cheng




IEEE-CASE Best Student Conference Paper Award

This award is sponsored by the academic family of Prof. Yu-Chi (Larry) Ho. Presented in 2017 by Larry Ho.

CASE Best Student Paper small

"A Circuit-Breaker Use-Case Operated by a Humanoid in Aircraft Manufacturing"
by Anastasia Bolotnikova (Student), Kevin Chappellet, Antonio Paolillo, Adrien Escande, Gholamreza Anbarjafari, Adolfo Suarez-Roos, Patrice Rabate, Abderrahmane Kheddar

Congratulations to the following Authors for their outstanding achievement as recipients of RAS Publication Awards! The awards were announced and presented by Michael Wang, T-ASE Editor-in-Chief, at the IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE 2017) on 22 August 2017 in Xi'an, China.

T ASE Best Paper 2017

2017 IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering Best Paper Award

To recognize the best paper of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE) published in the previous calendar year.

"A Learning-Based Framework for Velocity Control in Autonomous Driving"
by Stéphanie Lefévre, Ashwin Carvalho and Francesco Borrelli
as published in the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering; vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 32-42, January 2016


2017 IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering Best New Application Paper Award

To recognize the Best New Application Paper of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE) published in the previous calendar year.

"Needle Grasp and Entry Port Selection for Automatic Execution of Suturing Tasks in Robotic Minimally Invasive Surgery"
by Taoming Liu and Murat Cenk Cavusoglu
as published in the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering; vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 552-563, April 2016

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