Intelligent Human-Robot Interaction for Rehabilitation and Physical Assistance

A Special Issue proposal by
S. F. Atashzar, M. Tavakoli, M. Shahbazi, and R. V. Patel

Topical Area

This special issue will aim to report recent developments in enhancing human-robot interaction in advanced intelligent robotic/telerobotic systems for motor rehabilitation and assistance. We aim to focus particularly on issues related to physical interaction between patients and robotic/mechatronic systems developed to deliver Neuro-Rehabilitation and Assistive (NRA) services. The special issue will cover a broad range of related subjects including but not limited to safety, control, modeling, signal processing, smart autonomy and instrumentation for advanced human-robot interaction in rehabilitation and assistive systems. Specific topics of interest are listed below:

  • Physical human-robot interaction for rehabilitation and assistance
  • Human-robot collaboration for rehabilitation and assistance
  • Control of human-centered robotic systems for rehabilitation and assistance
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence in robotic systems for rehabilitation and assistance
  • Autonomy in robotic systems for rehabilitation and assistance
  • In-home/remote robotic rehabilitation and assistance


The incidence rate of age-related neuromuscular disorders is rapidly increasing worldwide due to an aging society. While better medical care has increased survival rates, it has resulted in even more patients in need of NRA services. This has placed a significant burden on the healthcare systems worldwide and has challenged the quality of NRA services delivered to patients. The situation is particularly difficult for patients in remote areas.

A potential solution is to develop smart robotic and telerobotic technologies that provide safe and effective means of in-hospital and in-home NRA services. In this regard, robotic rehabilitation and assistance systems have been developed and have attracted a great deal of interest. Although there are advantages with the use of these technologies, there still exist several technical, technological and control challenges among which are (a) questionable compatibility with the sensorimotor needs of patients, (b) high cost, and (c) conservative assurances of patient-robot interaction safety. These issues are of particular concern when the robot is to be used in a patient’s home or in remote areas under minimal monitoring.

The special issue includes transdisciplinary research in engineering and applied sciences (e.g., human-robot interaction, nonlinear control, machine intelligence, instrumentation, compliant robots, bio-signal processing) and medical sciences (e.g., neurosciences, rehabilitation sciences, human-motor control and motor learning). The transdisciplinary nature of the work and the specific focus of the topic call for a focused and in-depth special issue that reports the latest progress in addressing the existing challenges and possible future lines of research. The focus of this transdisciplinary special issue is at the intersections of topics that regularly are the topic of conference workshops and journal special issues (e.g., haptics, telerobotics, human-robot interaction, rehabilitation robotics, and assistive technologies).


Special Issue Call Publication: 15 April 2018
Special Issue Submission Opens: 1 May​ ​2018
Special Issue Submission Closes: 15 July 2018
First Decision Communicated to Authors: 15 October 2018
Final Decision Communicated to Authors: 15 December 2018
Accepted RAL Papers appear on IEEE Xplore: 15 February ​2019 (tentative)

Ethical Considerations 200 Years After Frankenstein

Live Broadcast: Tuesday, 1 May 2018
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT (GMT-4)

Register Here

Two centuries after the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, society continues to explore the ethical implications of technological advancements. This panel brings together voices from technology, ethics, and history to discuss questions about how ethical considerations have evolved in the last two centuries.

How have technologists and others addressed the issues presented in this classic novel? To what extent are the issues raised in the book still present and relevant in today's technology space? What new issues have surfaced with the advent of new technologies?


Peter Asaro | Associate Professor of Media Studies, The New School
Dominik Boesl | Vice President of Consumer Driven Robotics, KUKA Robotics
Jean Kumagai | Senior Editor, IEEE Spectrum
Lisa Nocks | Historian, IEEE History Center
Mark A. Vasquez | IEEE TechEthics Program Manager

More Information 

Do you have a startup idea, a prototype or a seed stage startup in robotics, sensors or AI?
Submit your entries by 15 May 2018, if you want to be selected to pitch on the main stage of ICRA 2018 on 22 May in Brisbane Australia for a chance to win $3000 AUD prize from QUT bluebox!

Enter here

The top 10 startups will pitch live on stage to a panel of investors and mentors including:
* Martin Duursma, Main Sequence Ventures
* Chris Moehle, The Robotics Hub Fund
* Yotam Rosenbaum, QUT bluebox
* Roland Siegwart, ETH Zurich

Entries are also in the running for a place in the QUT bluebox accelerator*, the Silicon Valley Robotics Accelerator*, mentorship from all the VC judges and potential investment of up to $250,000 from The Robotics Hub Fund*. (*conditions apply - details on application)


Pre Seed category consists of an idea and proof of concept or prototype - customer validation is also desirable.
Seed category consists of a startup younger than 24 months, with less than $250k previous investment.
Post Seed category consists of a startup younger than 36 months, with less than $2.5m previous investment.


No problems, mate! We'll be continuing the Robot Launch competition with additional rounds in the US and in Europe through out the summer. Go ahead and enter now anyway!Enter the Robot Launch Startup Competition at ICRA 2018 here:


A sample Investor One Pager can be seen here:
And your pitch should cover the content described in Nathan Gold's 13 slide format at:

Email inquiries may be directed to:

Organizing Committee

Andra Keay, Silicon Valley Robotics, USA
Ivan J Storr, Blue Ocean Robotics, Australia
Roland Siegwart, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Next Generation Robotics and the Future of Work
Hosted by the Robotics Caucus Advisory Committee

Wednesday, 18 April 2018
12:00–1:30 PM
2253 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC, USA

A new generation of robotics technologies are entering the U.S. economy. From shop floors to warehouses, robots are becoming common across a myriad of sectors—from transportation to retail, to hospitals, banks, and other services. Unlike earlier periods of automation, these autonomous systems technologies are increasingly designed to augment and collaborate with human workers. Studies of the manufacturing sector even indicate that as collaborative robotics are deployed in manufacturing environments, the number of new jobs increases as greater levels of robots are deployed. While the creation of new jobs is promising, it is also clear that new robotics technologies will have significant impact on the fundamental nature of work performed and that we must rise to meet the challenges.
The international race to lead the robotics revolution won’t be won in research labs alone, but will depend on effective workforce development programs and strategies. This briefing brings together robotics industry, labor, workforce, technology research and public policy leaders to discuss what steps should be taken to ensure that the next generation robotics also means broader economic opportunity nation-wide.
Please join us for this important discussion.


Robotics Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressman Mike Doyle and Congressman Rob Woodall


Dr. Ramayya Krishnan, Dean, Heinz College of Information Management and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University. The Heinz College is home to the Block Center for Technology and Society.


Mark Lewandowski, Procter & Gamble
Jeff Burnstein, President, Robotic Industries Association
Jim H. Key, Vice President, USW Local Union 550, Paducah, KY and President of USW Atomic Energy Workers Council, United Steelworkers
Ritch Ramey, CEO, Ramtec Ohio, a Career Technical Education training (CTE) collaboration of 23 schools that are placing secondary and post-secondary program completers into highly skilled careers in robotics and automation fields.
Seth Hutchinson, Professor, KUKA Chair for Robotics, Georgia Tech Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines

Q&A and closing remarks by Moderator

The National Science Foundation video focuses on the research of computer scientist and roboticist Allison Okamura of Stanford University. Allison is an IEEE Fellow and holds multiple roles in the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society.

Details of this work: With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Allison Okamura and her collaborators at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, are building soft robots inspired by vines. Collaborators on this research include Elliot Hawkes of University of California, Santa Barbara, and Sean Follmer and Jonathan Fan of Stanford University.

The form and nature of vines are ideal for threading through narrow spaces, whether those spaces are within the human body or at a disaster site. Imagine a vine robot becoming a water hose that grows to a fire or an oxygen tube that grows to a trapped disaster victim. The team is also engineering vine robots with the ability to configure themselves into three-dimensional structures, such as manipulators and antennae for communication.

Vine robots are one type of soft robot, an emerging area of robotics engineering. Soft robots incorporate versatility, adaptability, and pliability to function more like natural organisms, and to allow humans and soft robots to work safely together.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1637446, National Robotics Initiative (NRI): Vine Robots: Achieving Locomotion and Construction by Growth.

Anyone who is involved in organizing an IEEE or RAS conference, large or small, or is thinking about organizing a conference is encouraged to attend. Get answers to your questions about the organization, requirements, logistics and finances of conferences, both large and small. Speak with the experts for advice on how to make sure your conference is executed flawlessly!

RAS will be presenting a FREE Conference Organizers Workshop during ICRA 2018. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, 22 May from 10:00-12:30 in room M9 at the Brisbane Convention Center in Brisbane, Australia. Lunch to be provided.

ICRA plenary

Preliminary Agenda

1. Welcome and Opening Remarks – Torsten Kroeger
2. Conference Committee Roles and Responsibilities – Torsten Kroeger/ Karinne Ramirez Amaro
3. Getting Started (Requesting Sponsorship & Conference Application) – Helge Wurdemann
4. Conference Publications/Video Capture – Zhidong Wang
5. Managing a Technical Program – Seth Hutchinson
6. Conference Finance (Budgeting through Conference Closing) – Venkat Krovi/ Helge Wurdemann
7. Event Logistics Planning and Execution – Lukrecija LeLong / Torsten Kroeger
8. Working with IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events – Lukrecija LeLong

Space is limited, so we encourage you to register as soon as your availability is confirmed.


Please register for this FREE workshop online:

To register by email or ask questions, please contact:

Call For Participation
Access To Talent Program at ICRA 2018
21-25 May 2018, Brisbane Austrialia

ICRA 2018 logo

Looking for a job in robotics? Looking to hire top robotics job candidates?

After previous successes at ICRA and IROS, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society will again be organizing an official Access to Talent Program in conjunction with ICRA 2018. This program is targeted at job seekers and robotics companies of all sizes. It provides an outstanding opportunity for potential employers and potential employees to connect at one of the top robotics conferences in the world.


The program will be of interest to:

Those Seeking Employment Opportunities

Conference attendees (including students) interested in robotics-related employment opportunities may upload their contact information, interests and resum? to a database that will be made available to company recruiters. Interested companies will then have the opportunity to review the database and conduct on-site interviews with you at ICRA!

An outstanding group of companies and organisations have already signed up to participate and will be actively recruiting at the conference! These include:

  • Artisense
  • Baidu
  • DJI
  • KUKA
  • Nutonomy
  • Uber

Many more are joining as we speak! Don?t wait! Take advantage of this fantastic chance to connect and launch your robotics career! There is no cost to upload your resume to the database. Instructions for uploading your information are included in the registration confirmation email for ICRA 2018.


Recruiting Companies

Companies interested in recruiting at ICRA 2018 will have access to the following resources:
- A searchable resume database of conference attendees interested in robotics-related employment.
- Space for conducting on-site interviews.
- Poster space during the exhibition to advertise the company and its available positions.


More information is available at:

Email inquires may be directed to:

Congratulations and welcome to the following newly organized IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Section and Student Branch Chapters.

Region 1-6

United States

  • IEEE Charlotte Section Robotics and Automation Society Chapter
  • Clemson University IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Piedmont Section
  • Michigan State University IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Southeastern Michigan Section
  • IEEE Houston Section Robotics and Automation Society Chapter

Region 8


  • IEEE Norway Section Control Systems and Robotics and Automation Joint Societies Chapter


  • ESPRIT (Ecole Supérieure Privée d'Ingénierie et de Technologies) IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Tunisia Section
  • National School of Computer Science ENSI IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Tunisia Section


  • Balikesir Universitesi IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Turkey Section
  • İzmir Institute of Technology IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Turkey Section

Region 9


  • Faculdade de Tecnologia Senai Cimatec IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Bahia Section
  • Fed de Educacao Ciencia e Tec da Paraiba IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Bahia Section
  • Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia da Paraíba (IFPB) IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Bahia Section
  • Universidade Federal de Santa Maria IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the South Brazil Section
  • Univ Federal Do Rio De Janeiro - UFRJ IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Rio De Janeiro Section

Costa Rica

  • Inst Tecnologico de Costa Rica - Sede San Carlos IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Costa Rica Section


  • Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manabi IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Ecuador Section

Region 10


  • Ahmedabad University IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Gujarat Section
  • College of Engineering - Karunagappally IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Kerala Section
  • G L Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management-Greater Noida IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Delhi Section
  • Government Engineering College - Barton Hill IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Kerala Section
  • Muffakham Jah College of Engineering & Technology IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Hyderabad Section
  • Panimalar Engineering College-Chennai IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Madras Section
  • S J C Institute of Technology/Bangalore University IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Bangalore Section
  • Vellore Institute of Technology - Chennai IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Madras Section


  • University of Lahore IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Lahore Section
Congratulations to the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society members recently elevated to Senior Member status by the IEEE Admission and Advancement (A&A) Senior Member Review Panel.

• To be eligible for application or nomination, candidates must:
• Be engineers, scientists, educators, technical executives, or originators in IEEE-designated fields
• Have experience reflecting professional maturity
• Have been in professional practice for at least ten years (with some credit for certain degrees)
• Show significant performance over a period of at least five of their years in professional practice

Nominees for IEEE Fellow must hold the grade of Senior Member or Life Senior Member in order to qualify for elevation to Fellow status.
Turki Abdalla
Iraq Section
University of Basrah
Yasar Ayaz
Islamabad Section
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
Alexandre Bernardino
Portugal Section
Instituto Superior Técnico
Dominik Bösl
Germany Section
Girish Chowdhary
Central Illinois Section
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Francisco Chumbiauca
Palouse Section
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL)
Prithviraj Dasgupta
Nebraska Section
University of Nebraska
Elena De Momi
Italy Section
Politecnico di Milano
Dimos Dimarogonas
Sweden Section
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
John Dolan
Pittsburgh Section
Carnegie Mellon University
Stanley Frady
Western North Carolina Section
Juan Garcia
Spain Section
University of Alcalá
David Gomez-Gutierrez
Guadalajara Section
Intel Corporation
Jeffrey Krichmar
Orange County Section
University of California, Irvine
Venkat Krovi
Piedmont Section
Clemson University
Jinoh Lee
Italy Section
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Ming-Yih Lee
Taipei Section
Chang Gung University
Xiongbiao Luo
London Section
The University of Western Ontario
Alessandro Macchelli
Italy Section
Università di Bologna
Alessandro Marino
Italy Section
Università di Salerno
Arifuddin Mohammed
Hyderabad Section
Muffakham Jah College of Engineering & Technology
Katsumi Moriwaki
Nagoya Section
Daido University
Christian Ott
Germany Section
Mike Paulin
New Zealand South Section
University of Otago
Daniel Sangines
Florida West Coast Section
Mohan Satyaranjan
Bangalore Section
Yajing Shen
Hong Kong Section
University of Hong Kong
Jie Song
Beijing Section
Peking University
Ganesh Subramanian
Madras Section
Panimalar Institute of Technology
Yi Sun
Southeastern Michigan Section
FANUC America Corporation
Lawrence Tessari
Southeastern Michigan Section
Emir Vela
Peru Section
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Huihui Wang
Jacksonville Section
Jacksonville University
Zhan Yang
Nanjing Section
Soochow University
Da-Jeng Yao
Taipei Section
National Tsing Hua University
Xuebo Zhang
Beijing Section
Nankai Univeristy
Yu Zheng
Southeastern Michigan Section
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Each year, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society offers financial support for three Technical Education Programs (RAS-TEP), also known as "Summer Schools." In an effort to bring RAS closer to its membership, three programs are held each year: one in the Americas, one in Europe/MiddleEast/Africa, and one in Asia/Pacific Rim.

The RAS-TEP program is jointly run by the RAS Member Activities Board (MAB) and the RAS Technical Activities Board (TAB). These Boards will review proposals and select the TEP programs each year. The program sponsors up to three schools per year around the world. Each of the three Technical Education Programs (Summer Schools) will receive up to USD$25,000.00 in funding from RAS. Funding should be used to reduce the event cost for RAS Student Members, and to assist in securing high quality instructors.

The review of TEP proposals is based on assessments from two different viewpoints, the first one with respect to the general structure, including organizational matters and budget, and the second one with respect to the technical content. One or more relevant RAS Technical Committees (TCs) must endorse all submitted proposals. Current TCs are listed at:

P 20160908 124817 small


Technical Education Program Proposal - online proposal form


Deadlines for the submission of 2019 proposals: 1 May 2018  Deadline Extended to 14 May 2018
Decision: ICRA 2018
Notification: July 2018

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