Robotics & Automation (R&A) technologies have the potential to transform and improve the lives of humanity by addressing the world's toughest challenges. The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society - Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT) is engaging the academic and non-academic community to propose viable solutions in R&A to address relevant world problems through several initiatives that include competitions, funding impactful projects, and establishment of collaboration networks with academia, industry, and governments. RAS-SIGHT is the first IEEE Society to have a SIGHT! The mission of RAS-SIGHT is the application of robotics and automation technologies for promoting humanitarian causes around the globe, and to leverage existing and emerging technologies for the benefit of humanity in under-served, under-developed areas in collaboration with existing global communities and organizations.

RAS-SIGHT’s activities broadly fall under Challenges and Projects. While Challenges are intended to advance the state-of-the-art in robotics and automation and provide a platform for researchers and developers to participate in a group setting working towards addressing problems with a humanitarian slant, Projects facilitate communities and associated organizations to work closely with robotics and automation researchers to elevate the quality of life for the residents of communities across the globe. RAS-SIGHT envisions Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenges (HRATCs) as an unprecedented opportunity for technologists from around the world to collaborate using their skills and education to benefit humanity. The problems (challenges) are framed with the environmental, cultural, structural, political, socio-economic, and resource constraints so that solutions can be developed, deployed, and sustained.

In this vein, RAS-SIGHT is soliciting proposals that when implemented would improve the quality of life for the beneficiaries. Some important points worth noting:
  • The problem that you propose to solve should utilize robotics and/or automation technologies
  • It is strongly encouraged that the solution be developed and deployed with active involvement from the community or the end-users that it is intended to benefit
  • Sustainability beyond the completion of the project will be a key consideration

SUBMISSION

If you are interested, please submit a 4 page (max.) proposal in the standard IEEE conference format outlining:
- the problem,
- the solution,
- related work, similar initiatives, and how the proposed project will achieve new results than what is currently available,
- proposed partnerships with existing initiatives,
- number of people who would be impacted,
- previous experiences, both in terms of applied research and deployment,
- project development timeline,
- breakdown of anticipated costs, and how the funds would be used to support the project, and
- short biographies of project members (with URLs of respective websites)

We anticipate funding 4-6 proposals in the US$2500-$5000 range from all Regions of IEEE. Please note that the awarded funds cannot be used to support wages or salaries of personnel or for supporting theoretical research. All submissions should be sent to Raj Madhavan, Chair, RAS-SIGHT at <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission Deadline: 3 September 2017
Acceptance Notification: 18 September 2017

Please see the SIGHT section of RAS website for previous and on-going funded projects:
http://www.ieee-ras.org/ras-sight/projects

 

Call for Nominations: Editors and Associate Editors of IEEE Trans. on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE)
Deadline 1 November 2017

T ASE

The IEEE Trans. on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE, http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/t-ase) is soliciting nominations for multiple Editors and Associate Editors, with a term beginning January 2018. Editors and Associate Editors play important roles in ensuring the quality of publications and in guiding the general development of the Transactions, in multiple capacities including implementing reviews of manuscripts according to IEEE guidelines, soliciting emerging topical articles for special issues, guiding the overall direction of the publication, and providing feedback from the readership. Active participations are expected in the annual IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE) and in at least one of the two editorial board meetings held annually in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA) and IEEE CASE.


The term of an Editor or Associate Editor normally consists of a one-year probation period followed by four years (for Editor) or two years (for Associate Editor) of additional service if performance is satisfactory. Candidates should have a strong technical background in T-ASE related areas and excellent English language skills. Previous publications in T-ASE and participations in IEEE CASE are strongly preferred.

Nominations should include a resume (not to exceed three pages), a complete list of journal publications, previous experience with publications as a reviewer or in editorial capacities, and areas of technical expertise.

Please submit nominations in a single pdf file to Antonia Carl at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by 1 November 2017.

RAS is pleased to arrange two Luncheon Networking events for our Members attending CASE 2017 in Xi’an, China. Space is limited for these popular events. Don’t miss the chance to attend either or both because the space has been filled.

The Luncheons are FREE to attendees, but you MUST be registered in advance. Register Here:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6804817466fa470ba1f337c55facb41d

RAS Women In Engineering (WIE) Luncheon

Tuesday, 22 August 2017
12:30-13:30 in Function Room 10
Wyndham Grand Hotel, Xi'an, China

The WiE luncheon provides the 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.

Speaker

Maria Pia

Maria Pia Fanti (IEEE Fellow) received the Laurea degree in electronic engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1983. She was a visiting researcher at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York, in 1999. Since 1983, she has been with the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering of the Polytechnic of Bari, Italy, where she is currently a Full Professor of system and control engineering and Chair of the Laboratory of Automation and Control. Her research interests include discrete-event systems; Petri net; consensus protocols; fault detection; management and modeling of complex systems, such as production systems, logistic and healthcare systems. She has published more than 255 papers and two textbooks on these topics. Prof. Fanti was General Chair of the 2011 IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering. She is Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Automation Science and Engineering and Associate Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems. She is member at large of the Board of Governors of the IEEE SMC Society, Co-Chair of the Technical committee on Discrete Event Systems of the IEEE SMC Society, and of the Technical Committee on Automation in Logistics of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

Register for the WIE luncheon HERE:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6804817466fa470ba1f337c55facb41d

RAS Lunch with Leaders (LwL) for Students and Young Professionals

Wednesday, 23 August 2017
12:30-13:30 in Function Room 10
Wyndham Grand Hotel, Xi'an, China

This luncheon is open to student and young professional attendees. The Luncheon offers the chance to meet and interact with Leaders from RAS and industry. Informal discussion over lunch will take place round table style. Join us for career advice, insights into where the field is headed, or general conversation to get to know Leaders in the field of robotics & automation.

Confirmed Leaders
Fan-Tien Cheng, Bengt Lennartson, Jingshan Li, Peter Luh, Michael Wang, MengChu Zhou, Birgit Vogel-Heuser, Samuel Jia

To join Lunch with Leaders, please register HERE:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6804817466fa470ba1f337c55facb41d

Congratulations to the following IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2017 award recipients! Winners were announced and honored during the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Awards Luncheon which took place on 1 June 2017 in Singapore.

 

ICRA CEB award for Best Associate Editors

Pierre-Brice Wieber, INRIA Rhône-Alpes, France
Yonghuai Liu, Aberystwyth University, United Kingdom

ICRA CEB award for Best Reviewers

Jeannette Bohg, Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany
Cristina Garcia Cifuentes, Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany
Emmanuel Vander Poorten, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Changhyun Choi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

 

BEST PAPER AWARDS

Best Conference Paper small

IEEE ICRA Best Conference Paper Award

Probabilistic Data Association for Semantic SLAM 
Sean Bowman, Nikolay Atanasov, Kostas Daniilidis, George J.Pappas 

 

 

 

Best Student paper small

IEEE ICRA Best Student Paper Award

Autonomous Robotic Stone Stacking with Online Next Best Object Target Pose Planning
Fadri Furrer, Martin Wermelinger, Hironori Yoshida, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Daniel Kohler, Roland Siegwart, Marco Hutter

 

 

 

Best Automation Paper small

IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award in Automation

UAV-Based Crop and Weed Classification for Smart Farming 
Philipp Lottes, Raghav Khanna, Johannes Pfeifer, Roland Siegwart, Cyrill Stachniss

 

 

 

Best Cognitive Robotics small

IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award in Cognitive Robotics

Learning to Guide Task and Motion Planning Using Score-Space Representation
Beomjoon Kim, Leslie Kaelbling, Tomas Lozano-Perez

 

 

 

IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award on Human-Robot Interaction

Development of a Block Machine for Volleyball Attack Training
Kosuke Sato, Keita Watanabe, Shuichi Mizuno, Masayoshi Manabe, Hiroaki Yano, Hiro Iwata

 

Best Robot Manipulation small

IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award in Robot Manipulation

Analyzing Achievable Stiffness Control Bounds of Robotic Hands with Compliantly Coupled Finger Joints
Prashant Rao, Gray Thomas, Luis Sentis, Ashish Deshpande 

 

 

 

 

Best Medical Robotics small

IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award in Medical Robotics

First Demonstration of Simultaneous Localization and Propulsion of a Magnetic Capsule in a Lumen using a Single Rotating Magnet
Katie Popek, Tucker Hermans, Jake Abbott

 

 

Best Multi Robots small

IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award on Multi-Robot Systems

The Robotarium: A Remotely Accessible Swarm Robotics Research Testbed
Daniel Pickem, Paul Glotfelter, Li Wang, Mark Mote, Aaron Ames, Eric Feron, Magnus Egerstedt

 

 

 

 

Best Service Robotics small

IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award in Service Robotics

High-Precision Microinjection of Microbeads into C. Elegans Trapped in a Suction Microchannel
Masahiro Nakajima, Yuki Ayamura, Masaru Takeuchi, Naoki Hisamoto, Strahil Pastuhov, Yasuhisa Hasegawa, Toshio Fukuda, Qiang Huang 

 

 

Best Robot vision small

IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award in Robot Vision

Self-supervised Learning of Dense Visual Descriptors
Tanner Schmidt, Richard Newcombe, Dieter Fox

We are pleased to announce an IEEE Robotics and Autonomous Letters (IEEE RA-L) Special Issue on “Learning and Control for Autonomous Manipulation Systems: the Role of Dimensionality Reduction”
Please, visit the official webpage of the Special Issue at
http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ra-l/special-issues/learning-and-control-for-autonomous-manipulation-systems-the-role-of-dimensionality-reduction

SUMMARY

The special issue presents a hot topic in robotic manipulation that is how to merge learning and control strategies to provide autonomy to robotic systems. This is a fundamental problem for robotic manipulation and it touches different functional system levels based on both visual and tactile perception and also affects the mechanical design of the robot parts that move and interact with the environment. The anthropomorphism contemplated in the mechanical design encourages the inspiration of learning techniques and control from the functioning of the human being. This implies the involvement of a large research community not only in the field of robotics but also the community of neuroscientists. The problem is highly multi-disciplinary, and different approaches from control theory, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, will be compared and possibly combined.

MOTIVATION

The topic of this Special Issue was the subject of a full-day workshop “Learning and control for autonomous manipulation systems: the role of dimensionality reduction”, organized at ICRA 2017 by the guest editors. The large attendance (among 80-100 participants), the quality of the speakers, and the relevance of the addressed topics of research have been key elements for the success of the workshop. The Special Issue wants to collect an even broader scope of contributions, and make them available in archival format.

TOPICS OF INTEREST

Dimensionality reduction in anthropomorphic design
Mechanical and motor synergies
Perceptual and sensorimotor synergies
The role of dimensionality reduction in learning strategies
The role of dimensionality reduction in control strategies

GUEST EDITORS

Fanny Ficuciello(University of Naples Federico II)
Pietro Falco (Technical University of Munich)
Sylvain Calinon (Idiap Research Institute)

TIMELINE

Special Issue Call Publication: 1 August 2017
Special Issue Submission Opens: 5 October 2017
Special Issue Submission Closes: 15 October 2017
First Decision Communicated to Authors: 9 January 2018
Final Decision Communicated to Authors: 15 March 2018
Accepted RAL Papers appear on Xplore: 3 April 2018

We are pleased to announce an IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (IEEE RA-L) Special Issue on "Aerial Manipulation".
Authors submitting their work to this Special Issue will have the opportunity to present their work at the forthcoming ICRA 2018 conference in Brisbane, Australia (see the details below).

Please, visit the official webpage of the Special Issue at http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ra-l/special-issues/aerial-manipulation

Motivations and Objectives

The introduction of aerial manipulation can be helpful especially in those industrial and service applications that are considered very dangerous for a human operator. For instance, think to a task of bridge inspection, high-voltage electric lines inspection and fixing-up, rotor blade repairing and so on. These tasks are both unsafe and expensive, since the performance of professional climbers and specialists is requested. An unmanned aerial manipulator might indeed assist the human operator in these jobs or, at least, in the most hazardous and critical situations. Grasping an object during the flight with a UAV (equipped with only a gripper) poses several problems due to the under-actuation of the aerial vehicle, its unstable dynamics, and the coupling effects given by the presence of the object. The bigger the carried payload, the bigger should be the capacity of the single employed UAV. However, the sole gripper is not enough to obtain a complete evolution from passive into active tasks of the unmanned aerial vehicles: mechanical structures mounted on the UAVs are then essential to perform more complex actions. Therefore, an aerial manipulator might be an efficient solution providing an aerial vehicle with the capability of performing dexterous manipulation tasks. Nevertheless, like the presence of a carried object creates coupling effects in the dynamic model of the system, a mounted robot arm provides even more issues since its dynamics depends on the actual configuration state of the whole system.

The Special Issue will thus cover several aspects spanning from the mechatronic design of novel aerial manipulator, to the use of sensors necessary to accomplish the sought tasks, and the use of motion planning and control techniques. This may also be a great opportunity to stir the current idea of aerial robotics that is too much conceived as simple inspection and sensing applications. Aerial manipulation is a great research challenge and this might be a chance to collect the most recent results of the field to enhance the autonomy requested to fulfill the addressed tasks.

List of Topics

The list of topics include, but it is not limited to:
- Control of aerial manipulators
- Control of UAV in contact with the environment
- Motion planning of aerial manipulators
- Perception in aerial manipulation
- Mechatronic design of aerial manipulators

Important Dates

- Special Issue Submission opens: 1 September 2017
- Special Issue Submission closes: 10 September 2017
- First Decision Communicated to Authors: 5 December 2017
- Final Decision Communicated to Authors: 8 February 2018
- Accepted RA-L Papers appear on IEEE Xplore: 27 February 2018

Guest Editors

Vincenzo Lippiello (Università di Napoli Federico II)
Fabio Ruggiero (Università di Napoli Federico II)
Anibal Ollero (Universidad de Sevilla)

Organization of the Submitted Papers

Papers are six-page long in two column IEEE format, including figures and reference. Up to two extra-pages (at fee) are allowed. Links to multimedia material are welcome. RA-L is an electronic-only journal. The final version provided by the authors will be rapidly posted on IEEE Xplore: submitted manuscripts will be either published within 27 February 2018 or rejected.

Submission of the Papers

In order to submit the paper:
- Go the RA-L PaperCept site http://ras.papercept.net/journals/ral
- Log-in and select to submit a new paper to IEEE RA-L.
- From the drop-down menu, select "Submission for RA-L and ICRA Special Issue on Aerial Manipulation"
- Follow the instructions to submit your material.
More information can be found at the following link: http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ra-l/submission-procedures

Information about IEEE RA-L + ICRA 2018

All the information about the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters can be found at the following link:
http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ra-l
To recap, the scope of this journal is to publish peer-reviewed articles that provide a timely and concise account of innovative research ideas and application results, reporting significant theoretical findings and application case studies in areas of robotics and automation.
All the papers submitted to such RA-L Special Issue will undergo a regular RA-L review. Results of the first review round by the Letters Editorial Board will also be used by the ICRA 2018 Editorial Board, which will decide the program of the Conference. Notice that the final decision on publication on RA-L and presentation at the Conference are completely independent. More details about RA-L submission with conference option can be found at the following link: http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ra-l/ra-letters-information-for-authors
The International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference and is a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work.

ICRA 2018 will be held on 21-25 May 2018 in Brisbane, Australia: http://www.icra2018.org

The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society is seeking qualified recipients for our presitgious awards!

The Nomination Deadline is Tuesday, 1 August.

Awards

Who are the Leaders in the robotics and automation field? Who should be honored with a prestigious IEEE RAS Award? Consider nominating them! But hurry, the deadline for IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Award nominations is midnight (US EST) 1 August 2017.

Details for each award, including eligibility, nomination requirements and lists of previous recipients, may be found at www.ieee-ras.org/awards-recognition/society-awards

Erwin Prassler (B-IT and Vice President of IEEE RAS for Industrial Activities)
Arturo Baroncelli (Comau and Former President of IFR)

Since the first edition at ICRA 2005 in Barcelona, Spain, the IEEE/IFR Award for Invention and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation has become one of the most renowned non-scientific awards in the robotics community, and has attracted more and more applications in every year. It’s uniqueness is also due to the fact that it is a joint award given by the robotics industry, represented by IFR the International Federation of Robotics, and the robotics research community represented by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. The award is a vital demonstration that robotics industry and research do work together very successfully.

The competition for the 2017 edition of the IERA Award was remarkable in terms of the number of applications as well as in their quality. A jury composed of three members of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and three members of the International Federation of Robotics finally selected the following four finalists:

  • Marco Hutter, ANYbotics AG, ANYdrive: A modular joint actuator for advanced interacting robots
  • Jody Saglia, Movendo Technology s.r.l.: Hunova - an easy to use and intuitive medical device
  • György Cserey, OptoForce Ltd: Sensing flexibility - 3D force and 6-axis force/torque sensors for industrial robotic applications
  • Steve Cousins, Savioke: Relay autonomous delivery robot

The finalists had the opportunity to pitch their business idea at ICRA 2017, Singapore, to the jury and to the large audience of ICRA participants.

IERA 2017 recipient small

The winner by unanimous decision:
Steve Cousins, Savioke: Relay autonomous delivery robot

 

All finalists have the opportunity to describe their business idea in the next edition of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine. The 2018 edition of the IEEE/IFR IERA Award, which will be renamed the IEEE/IFR Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation, will be organized by IFR during Automatica and ISR 2018.

2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'17)
Vancouver, Canada
24 - 28 September 2017
http://www.iros2017.org/

Entrepreneurship Forum and Start-up Competition (EFSC) 2017
26 September 2017
http://iros2017.org/program/forums/efsc

PURPOSE OF THE EVENT

To foster the entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a platform to encourage researchers and practitioners to transition ideas and prototypes in robotics and intelligent systems to commercializable products, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) is inviting the robotics research community to participate in an Entrepreneurship Forum and Start-up Competition (EFSC) at the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017) in Vancouver, Canada.

The event is intended to inspire, educate, enable, and empower researchers, students, young professionals, and anyone else who has the 'start-up bug' in starting companies of their own but is not sure of how to go about it. We also believe that this event will create an
ecosystem that will provide the much-needed support for start-ups to launch their initiatives while being realistic about their envisioned ideas and products.

EFSC at IROS'17 will consist of three stages:
- In the first stage, submitted applications will be down-selected to arrive at a pool of qualified applicants based on a defined set of criteria developed by the organizers (see 'Application Form' information below).
- This will be followed by a remote stage where the selected applicants will be paired with coaches based on the proposal content and the expertise of the coaches. The coaches will then provide critical feedback and technical and professional assistance to refine the
idea/product pitches.
- The final stage would allow for the refined pitches and content to be presented in front of a distinguished panel of industry and academic experts who have successfully funded, transitioned and have experience in commercialization of robotics and automation technologies.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

Anyone with an idea utilizing robotics and/or automation technology that has reached a proof of concept level is welcome to submit an application provided that the entity is 1) less than 3 years old, and 2) has not received any funding from angel investors or venture capitalists in the last 5 years.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE?

Interested applicants should complete the Application Form available for download from: http://iros2017.org/program/forums/efsc
Please email completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TRAVEL SUPPORT & AWARDS

We anticipate travel support for all qualified applicants invited to IROS'17 (~$1500/team) and awards for the top 3 finishers (pending funding approval at the time of this Call). Qualified applicants will further receive a free mini-booth in the IROS'17 exhibition area
for an interactive presentation of their product (idea).

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission of Application Forms: 24 July 2017
Announcement of Selected Applicants: 18 August 2017
Final Presentations at IROS'17: 26 September 2017

ORGANIZERS

Erwin Prassler (H-BRS, IEEE RAS VP for Industrial Activities)
Dominik Boesl (KUKA AG)
Jianwei Zhang (U. Hamburg)

2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017)
24-28 September 2017, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
http://iros2017.org/

IROS Logo V2 cropped

You are cordially invited to contribute abstract-only submissions to IROS 2017. Similar to the Late-Breaking Results posters at previous IROS’s, abstract-only submissions are one-page in length with a streamlined acceptance-decision process, and they are presented at the conference as posters. This component of the conference technical program is intended to reach out to the broader robotics research community, and the submissions are not peer-reviewed. Although accepted abstracts will be included in the conference proceedings, since they are not considered as publications, they will not be submitted to IEEE for inclusion in the Xplore database.

Under the theme of Friendly People, Friendly Robots, IROS 2017 particularly welcomes submissions that address technological challenges in developing friendly robots that can work effectively with, for, and around people. As always, we also invite submissions in all areas of intelligent robots and systems, their components, and applications.

Important Dates

15 July 2017 - Submission deadline (extended)
18 July 2017 - Notification of acceptance decisions
1 August 2017 - Final submission
24-28 Sept 2017 - Poster presentation IROS 2017 in Vancouver

Submission

To submit, please visit http://www.iros2017.org/contributing/call-for-abstract-only-submissions.

Easy Links