Apply Now! RAS Consumer Robotics Winter School
Registration Deadline is 12 December 2016!
Vacuum cleaners, drones and arguable driverless cars, assistive wearables, 3D printers and virtual headsets are examples of consumer robots. This Winter School's objective is to better define consumer robotics - and specifically, identify research topics and areas.
A Field Trip to the Consumer Electronics Show (5-7 January 2017) is a part of the Winter School. CES hosts 400+ consumer robot companies which join 170,000 attendees, 3700+ exhibitors and global media for product launches and market trends.
Lectures and Workshops will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), USA
Prof. Zexiang Li (Hong Kong University of Technology) on DJI and Consumer Drones
Dr. Steve Cousins (Savioke) on Hotel Robot Room Service
Dr. Tony Lewis (Qualcomm) on Embedded Intelligence
Prof. Ayanna Howard (Georgia Tech) on Educational Robots
Dr. Martin Buehler (Disney Research)
And more to come...
These Distinguished Colleagues have academe/industry experiences that will help students and the robotics community better understand the growing field of consumer robotics.
Application Deadline: 12 December 2017
Apply online here: http://www.daslhub.org/ces/registration/registration.html
For more information see: http://www.daslhub.org/ces/index.html
IROS 2016 Award Winners Announced
The IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2016) was held 9-14 October 2016, in Daejeon, Korea. Congratulations to the following Award Recipients - which were announced on 13 October during the Awards Luncheon.
IROS Harashima Award for Innovative Technologies
This award is to honor Professor Fumio Harashima, the Founding Honorary Chair of the IROS conferences, by recognizing outstanding contributions of an individual of the IROS community who has pioneered activities in robotics and intelligent systems.
Shigeki SUGANO - Waseda University, Japan
"For his technical contributions and innovation in human-symbiotic anthropomorphic robotics"
IROS Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes an individual who has performed outstanding service and leadership for the benefit and advancement of the IROS Conference. Up to two awards will be given annually at the IROS Conference.
Christian LAUGIER - INRIA, France
IROS Toshio Fukuda Young Professional Award
This award recognizes individuals (from academic institutions, government, industry, or research labs) who, in their early career, have made identifiable contributions that have had a major impact on intelligent robots and systems. Up to two awards will be given annually at the IROS Conference.
Fumiya IIDA - University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
IROS JTCF Novel Technology Paper Award for Amusement Culture
This award recognizes technical papers which have made practical technology contributions to Toys, Toy Models and Amusement Culture.
2 Winners this Year!
"Robot Artist for Colorful Picture Painting with Visual Control System"
Ren Luo, Ming-Jyun Hong, Ping-Chang Chung
"The CableRobot Simulator - Large Scale Motion Platform Based on Cable Robot Technology"
Philipp Miermeister, Carlo Masone, Andreas Pott, Heinrich H. Buelthoff, Joachim Tesch
IROS RoboCup Best Paper Award
This award recognizes technical papers which have made identifiable contributions to RoboCup.
"Multi-Robot Search for a Moving Target: Integrating World Modeling, Task Assignment and Context"
Francesco Riccio, Emanuele Borzi, Guglielmo Gemignani, Daniele Nardi
IROS KROS Best Paper Award on Cognitive Robotics
This award is to promote interdisciplinary researches on cognition for technical systems and advancements of cognitive robotics in industry, home applications, and daily life.
"Predicting Actions to Act Predictably: Cooperative Partial Motion Planning with Maximum Entropy Models"
Mark Pfeiffer, Ulrich Schwesinger, Hannes Sommer, Enric Galceran, Roland Siegwart
IROS Best Paper Award on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics
This award is to promote advanced research on safety, security and rescue robotics. The name of the award is connected with Mr. MotohiroKisoi who was killed in Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on 17 January 1995. He was a master student of Kobe University, Japan at that time. He had a dream to create a robot that can help people. To memorialize him and Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the award has established.
"A Palm for a Rock Climbing Robot Based on Dense Arrays of Micro-Spines"
Shiquan Wang, Hao Jiang, Mark Cutkosky
IROS ICROS Best Application Paper Award
This award is to promote researches on excellent robot application.
"Skeletal Structure with Artificial Perspiration for Cooling by Latent Heat for Musculoskeletal Humanoid Kengoro"
Toyotaka Kozuki, Hirose Toshinori, Takuma Shirai, Shinsuke Nakashima, Yuki Asano, Yohei Kakiuchi, Kei Okada, Masayuki Inaba
IROS ABB Best Student Paper Award
This award recognizes the most outstanding paper authored primarily by a student at the annual IROS Conference.
"Watch This: Scalable Cost-Function Learning for Path Planning in Urban Environments"
Markus Wulfmeier, Dominic Zeng Wang, Ingmar Posner
IROS Best Paper Award
This award recognizes the most outstanding paper at the annual IROS Conference.
"ANYmal - a Highly Mobile and Dynamic Quadrupedal Robot"
Marco Hutter, Christian Gehring, Dominic Jud, Andreas Lauber, Carmine Dario Bellicoso, Vassilios Tsounis, Jemin Hwangbo, Karen Bodie, Péter Fankhauser, Michael Bloesch, Remo Diethelm, Samuel Bachmann, Amir Melzer, Mark Hoepflinger
RAS announces newly elected 2017 Administrative Committee Members
Congratulations to the six RAS members elected by the membership to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2017. We wish the newly elected members of the Administrative Committee success and thank all candidates for their willingness to serve and for permitting their names to be included on the ballot.
AdCom Members Elected at Large:
University of Illinois, USA
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
AdCom Member from RAS Geographic Area 1 (the Americas):
Colorado State University, USA
AdCom Member from RAS Geographical Area 2 (Europe, Africa, Middle East--IEEE Region 8):
University of Pisa, Italy
AdCom Members from RAS Geographical Area 3 (Asia, Australia, Pacific Rim):
Nagoya University, Japan
KAIST, South Korea
Ken Goldberg retires as EiC of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
With heartfelt gratitude the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) and the robotics community bids farewell to Ken Goldberg, who enthusiastically served from 2011-2016 as Editor-in-Chief of T-ASE. Successor Michael Yu Wang has some big shoes to fill, but will be assisted by Samantha Jacobs and the T-ASE Editorial Team.
Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley, took the helm in October 2011 and never looked back. The journal has grown in volume and page count, in prestige, and has seen huge growth in reach and impact factor during his tenure. In his last Editorial, Ken reviews the team effort that doubled the T-ASE Impact Factor over 5 years and quotes RAS Past President Raja Chatila: "One Robot is Robotics, Ten Robots is Automation":
Automation has now come of age! RAS, the T-ASE Editors and Associate Editors, and the automation community will miss the Leadership provided by Ken. We wish him well in all future endeavors!
Michael's areas of expertise are as follows:
Primary areas: Human-Centered Automation, Assembly Modeling, Manufacturing, Grasping, Fixturing, Feeding.
Secondary areas: Theoretical Methods, Algorithmic Foundations, Machine Tools, Numerical Optimization.
Call for Papers: Special Issue on Bio-inspired Social Robot Learning in Home Scenarios
IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
Special Issue on Bio-inspired Social Robot Learning in Home Scenarios
CALL FOR PAPERS
There has been considerable progress in robotics in the last years allowing robots to successfully contribute to our society. We can find them from industrial environments, where they are nowadays established, to domestic places, where their presence is steadily rising. The proposed special issue intends to explore the following question: "How well prepared are learning robots to be social actors in daily-life home environments in the near future."
The special issue is therefore not only an opportunity to address this focuses on the latest scientific contributions on bio-inspired learning and social robotics, but also links them with a clear focus to push the presence of robots in people's daily-life environment. Thus, one main goal of the special issue is offering a common foundation for roboticists from different fields of expertise to contribute beyond the current state-of-the-art of learning methods in robotics especially applied to home scenarios and recent developments in assistive robots.
The subjects of the special issue include, but are not limited to:
- Interactive reinforcement learning.
- Policy and reward shaping.
- Neural learning of object affordances and contextual affordances.
- Predictive learning from sensorimotor information.
- Learning understanding of environment ambiguity.
- Learning with hierarchical and deep neural architectures.
- Bootstrapping complex action learning in robots.
- Learning supported by external trainers, by demonstration and imitation.
- Parental scaffolding as a bootstrapping method for learning.
The special issue is open for all submissions which will be independently peer-reviewed in accordance with IEEE policy. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the "Information for Authors" of the journal, found at http://cis.ieee.org/publications.html, and submitted through the IEEE TCDS Manuscript center under the category: "SI: Social Robots": https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tcds-ieee. Papers submitted must not have been published previously, though they may represent significant extensions of prior work.
31 January 2017 - Deadline for manuscript submission.
15 April 2017 - Notification of authors.
15 May 2017 - Deadline for revised manuscripts.
15 June 2017 - Final decisions.
For further information, please contact one of the following guest editors in this order:
SIMPAR 2016: Early Registration Deadline is October 31!
2016 IEEE International Conference on Simulation, Modeling, and Programming for Autonomous Robots
San Francisco, California USA
13-16 December 2016
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Early Registration Deadline: 31 October 2016
After a very selective review process, approximately half of the paper submissions were rejected, and we are looking forward to a high-quality, single track program of IEEE SIMPAR 2016.
Combining Optimal Control, Reinforcement Learning and Movement
Primitives to Achieve Better Robot Motions
Organizer: Katja Mombaur
Grand Challenges in Robotic Simulation
Organizer: Evan Drumwright
Modeling and Simulating Mechanical Rigid-Body Systems Using Siconos
Organizers: Vincent Acary and Stephen Sinclair
The Role of Simulation in Robot Programming
Organizers: Maria Gini and Enrico Pagello
Technical tours will be held on 17 December 2016 (incl. robotics lab tours at UC Berkeley and Stanford University).
VENUE, ACCOMMODATION, AND SOCIAL EVENTS
The Parc 55 – A Hilton Hotel
We offer discounted room rates for SIMPAR attendees.
On 14 December 2016, all conference attendees will be able to enjoy a beautiful dinner cruise on the San Francisco Bay.
The 2016 International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR) will take place in San Francisco from 18-20 December 2016, adjacent to SIMPAR 2016.
SCOPE AND TOPICS
3D robot simulation and mathematical modeling of robots
Learning from simulation
Reliability, scalability and validation of robot simulation
Simulated sensors and actuators
Machine learning for robotics applications
Offline simulation of robot design
Online simulation with real-time constraints
Simulation with software/hardware in the loop
Middleware for robotics
Modeling framework for robots and environments
Testing and validation of robot software
Standardization for robotic services
Communication infrastructures in distributed robotics
Interaction between sensor networks and robots
Human robot interaction and collaboration
Simulation of multi-robot systems
Model-based optimization and optimal control
Model predictive control
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Edson Prestes (UFRGS, Brazil)
Alexandre Amory (PUCRS, Brazil)
Raj Madhavan (HumRobTech, LLC, & IEEE RAS-SIGHT, USA)
The fourth HRATC edition will follow the footsteps of previous ones and continue to focus on promoting the development of new strategies for autonomous landmine detection using a mobile (ground) robot. HRATC Challenge has three phases: 1) Simulation Phase, 2) Testing Phase, and 3) Finals Phase. The strategies developed by the participating teams will be according to the following criteria: exploration time and environmental coverage; detection and classification quality; and landmine avoidance. Teams will be progressively eliminated after each phase and the remaining teams would move on to the next phase culminating in the Challenge (Finals) phase at ICRA'17. All teams will use the same robot that will be available before (for remote practice runs) and during the Challenge. Furthermore, participants will have access to a ROS-based simulator to develop and test their code before testing it remotely on the real robot.
More details on the previous edition can be found at http://www.isr.uc.pt/HRATC2016 and from the following summary articles published in the IEEE RAS Robotics & Automation Magazine:
- 2015 Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge, IEEE RAS RAM, Sept. 2015.
- 2016 Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge, IEEE RAS RAM, Sept. 2016.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
- Entry Deadline: 15 November 2016
- Acceptance Notifications: 1 December 2016
- Simulation Phase: 15 December 2016 - 15 February 2017
- Testing Phase: 1 March 2017 - 1 April 2017
- Challenge@ICRA'17: 29-30 May 2017
A downloadable CFP and more info. on HRATC'17 is available from http://www.inf.ufrgs.br/hratc2017/HRATC_2017/
Get Ready for IROS 2016
It is going to be amazing!
2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016) will be held in Daejeon, Korea, 9-14 October 2016.
Pioneering Robot Designer Dies Unexpectadly
Victor Scheinman died at the age of 73 from a heart attack while visiting his brother in Northern California. Vic lived in Woodside, near Palo Alto, CA USA and in San Francisco, CA USA.
Vic graduated from MIT with a degree in Aero & Astro. He then entered Stanford as a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering and also spent a year in Belgium at the von Karmen Institute for Fluid Dynamics. After completing his Masters Degree he joined the Stanford Artificial Intelligence lab (SAIL) and enrolled for an Engineers Degree, which he completed in 1969. In connection with his Engineers Degree thesis he researched the idea of having a purely digital mechanical arm. This led to the "Orm" that was a prototype a pneumatically actuated multi-degree of freedom snake like arm. In addition, he was instrumental in modifying a Rancho Los Amigos exoskeleton arm for operation under computer control and he also participated in the design of a high-speed computer controlled humanoid hydraulic arm.
The main portion of his Engineers thesis dealt with the design of a six-degree-of-freedom computer controlled electric manipulator that he named The Stanford Arm. He then went on to produce over 10 copies of this Stanford Arm. It became the preferred research device in several university, government and industrial laboratories, and mathematical models of it were used as example in early robotics research papers and textbooks. This design is also deservedly referred to as "The Scheinman Stanford Robot Arm" or simply "The Scheinman Arm."
Vic then developed a six-axis force/torque sensing wrist that could be carried by the Scheinman Arm and other manipulators. This facilitated experiments in force control. He then returned briefly to MIT where he had been invited by Marvin Minsky to design a small humanoid arm for their AI Lab.
After returning to California, Vic started Vicarm, a company that produced copies of both his MIT design, which he named the Vicarm, and his Stanford arm. After several years his company was bought by Unimation, Inc. and was turned into the West Coast Division of Unimation. Vic's first new product, sponsored by General Motors through Unimation, was basically a scaled up industrial version of the Vicarm design. It was named the PUMA manipulator, and was well received both in academia and industry.
Victor left his company in 1980 to found the West Coast office of the computer vision company Automatix. After Vic left, Unimation was purchased by Westinghouse, and subsequently Brian Carlisle and Bruce Shimano, Vic's closest colleagues at Vicarm, arranged to reorganize Unimation's West Coast Division into Adept, Inc. For the rest of his life Vic remained close to and highly supportive of both Carlisle and Shimano.
At Automatix Vic invented Robot World. It was an entirely new concept for robotic use in manufacturing. He intended it to be used for circuit board assemble. Basically it was composed of multiple small manipulators magnetically suspended and free to move under computer control on an air cushion under an x-y table. Eventually Robot World was licensed for manufacture by the Japanese company Fujitsu.
After leaving Automatix Vic devoted his time to consulting and education. He coached design students in Stanford's Mechanical Engineering department and robotics labs. He was also active with High School students whom he mentored in connection with the First Robotics Competitions.
Vic received the Joseph F. Engelberger Award and also the ASME's Leonardo DaVinci Award for his work as a robot designer. Several of his manipulators are exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC and the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Vic was the consummate engineer. He kept extensive design notebooks, and his home shop was stocked with surplus hardware for electronic, computer and mechanical systems. He was totally a hands-on person, who did his own repairs and designs. He felt he could fix almost anything, and loved figuring out ways to solve problems. He always had a large number of projects going at the same time, and was very generous in providing his tools, parts, labor and expertise to his friends, colleagues and students. He will be greatly missed by the large community that he touched throughout his life with his dynamic personality and generous heart.
RAS and the robotics community lose a Shining Star
Fabrizio Flacco, a tenured research scientist of the French CNRS, suddenly passed away at the age of 34 on 18 September 2016, due to an undiagnosed congenital heart malformation, which burst while jogging with a friend.
Fabrizio took his master degree in Pisa as a student of Antonio Bicchi in 2007, and received his PhD from Sapienza University of Rome in 2011 with a thesis on "Modeling and Control of Robots with Compliant Actuation", with Alessandro De Luca as supervisor. In between, he spent a research period at the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL) with Oussama Khatib and his group. After a post-doc at Sapienza, working for the FP7 SAPHARI and the H2020 COMANOID European research projects, he became in December 2015, a Chargé de Recherche of the CNRS at LIRMM in Montpellier, in the IDH group led by Abderrahmane Kheddar.
Dr. Flacco has been an IEEE RAS student member from 2009, and then a member since 2012. He served our community in different ways: he was among the promoters of the workshop series on Human-Friendly Robotics (HFR), a very central event for young researchers in the field, organized several workshops at ICRA and IROS conferences, was one of the Associate Editors in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, and Co-Chair of the RAS Technical Committee on Algorithms for Planning and Control of Robot Motion. For a paper that appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Robotics in June 2015, Fabrizio received just few days before leaving us the 2016 IEEE RAS Italian Chapter Award for Best Paper by a Young Author. The Chapter decided right away to name the award after him (see http://www.i-ras.it/node/129).
A collection of memories and pictures can be accessed at http://homepages.laas.fr/afranchi/robotics/remembering-fabrizio. Our heartfelt condolences go to the family, his wife and two little daughters, from all his friends and colleagues.