Transactions on Robotics (T-RO)

The IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO) publishes research papers that represent major advances in the state-of-the-art in all areas of robotics. The Transactions welcomes original papers that report on any combination of theory, design, experimental studies, analysis, algorithms, and integration and application case studies involving all aspects of robotics.



  • Call for Papers, Special Issue on Aerial Swarm Robotics 

    Guest Editors:
    Prof. Soon-Jo Chung, Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
    Prof. Vijay Kumar, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    Dr. Aditya Paranjape, Imperial College London, London, UK
    Prof. Philip Dames, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
    Prof. Shaojie Shen, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

    Aerial robotics has been one of the most active areas of research within the robotics community, and recently there has been a surge of interest in aerial swarm systems. This IEEE T-RO special issue reflects on advances in aerial robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles, and aims to put together a cohesive set of research goals and visions towards realizing fully autonomous aerial swarm systems. In the near future, our airspace will be shared by a large number of aerial robots and autonomous aircraft, performing complex tasks that would be not possible for a single ground robot. A number of technological gaps need to be bridged in order to achieve full autonomy and reliable and safe operation of swarms of aerial robots. The papers selected for this special issue will represent the most promising ideas to address such research issues in modeling, design, control, sensing, planning, and computation of aerial swarms, with an emphasis on enhanced scalability, adaptability, robustness, and autonomy.

    Contributions must have a direct connection to the central themes of the special issue: swarms of aerial robots flying in a three-dimensional (3-D) world. Each contribution should emphasize how to address challenges in transitioning from 2-D to 3-D in areas such as SWaP (size, weight, and power), swarm coordination or collaboration, and use of 3-D vehicle dynamics. Topics of interest include the following:
    •Aerial swarming: modeling, design, and control
    •Motion planning, guidance, and control of distributed aerial systems
    •Algorithmic innovation enabling control of large-scale swarms of aerial robots
    •Novel system-level or hardware design concepts for aerial swarms
    •Distributed sensing or estimation techniques leveraging aerial swarm platforms
    •Real-world results and lessons learned from testing state-of-the-art techniques
    •Real-time optimal control, planning, and decision making for aerial swarms
    •Scalability, stability, and robustness issues in distributed aerial systems
    •Planning and control using vision-based sensing
    •Traffic control of swarms of drones in indoor or outdoor environments
    •Human-swarm interaction
    •Long-term autonomy of aerial swarms
    •Research issues in large-scale deployment of aerial swarms
    •Enabling applications using aerial swarms
    •Verification and validation of multi-agent systems and algorithms
    •Decentralized planning and its applications to aerial swarms

    Interested authors are encouraged to contact the special issue editors with an abstract of their paper to confirm that their submission is within the scope of the special issue. Abstracts should be sent via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Important Dates:
    Call for Papers: February 24, 2017
    Deadline for Initial Paper Submission: May 31, 2017
    Notification of First Round Decision: September 1, 2017
    Deadline for Revised Paper Submission: October 1, 2017
    Target Publication Date: February 2018  


  • Presenting Your Accepted Transactions Paper at ICRA
    Beginning with the 2017 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2017, Singapore), authors of recently accepted Transactions papers will be given an opportunity to present their work at a subsequent ICRA. For the 2017 edition of ICRA, 15 papers that were recently published in the Transactions, and that are not evolved versions of previously published conference papers, were selected for oral presentation in three specially designated T-RO sessions.

    Roughly half of the papers being published these days in the Transactions are evolved versions of previously published conference papers. To be sure, such conference-to-journal submissions do have their place. Ideally the journal paper is a considerably value-added and improved version of the original conference paper: from the feedback obtained via the review process as well as from participants at the conference, valuable insights can be gained, and the research enhanced considerably, leading to a much-improved final version of the paper.

    In practice, however, such papers increasingly seem to be more the exception rather than the rule. It goes without saying that robotics is a fast-moving field, and researchers today face the double pressure of publishing their work rapidly in high-quality, peer-reviewed archival journals like the Transactions, and at the same time presenting and promoting their work to the community at conferences like ICRA. For researchers who wish to both present their work at a conference and also to publish in an archival journal, a common dilemma is how much to put into the journal, and how much to set aside for the extended journal version--put too much into the conference version and risk not having enough for the journal version, or set aside too much for the journal version and risk having the conference version rejected for lack of substance.

    The newly launched Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) was intended precisely to address this quandary, by allowing authors to simultaneously publish their work in the archival RA-L and to present their work at ICRA. In keeping with this spirit, the Transactions also is developing a mechanism that will allow authors to present their original work published in the Transactions to the research community at ICRA. 2017 is a pilot study as we explore a more sustainable and permanent mechanism for this Transactions-to-ICRA presentation route for future ICRAs (and eventually involving other IEEE-sponsored conferences). Once established, our hope is that researchers can now submit their original unpublished work directly to the Transactions, and if accepted, then immediately present their work at ICRA.

    We will be announcing details of the criteria and procedures for the Transactions-to-ICRA presentation for the 2018 edition of ICRA later on these webpages. In the meantime, for those planning to attend ICRA 2017 in Singapore, we invite you to attend the special TRO sessions, and also to offer your feedback and suggestions on this new publication mechanism. Please send yous comments to the editor-in-chief at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  


    All IEEE journals require an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors. ORCIDs enable accurate attribution and improved discoverability of an author’s published work. The author will need a registered ORCID in order to submit a manuscript or review a proof in this journal.

    Follow these steps to link a PaperCept account to a registered ORCID. Note that PINs from different sub-domains can be linked to a single ORCID. 
  1. Go to the start page of the PaperCept subdomain where you have an existing PIN (if you do not have one, please create one by following the PIN link from the PaperCept subdomain of interest). 
  2. If you do not already have an ORCID, follow the link “Register an ORCID,” create an ORCID and return to the PaperCept login page. 
  3. Follow the link “Register your ORCID with any of your PaperCept PINs,” enter your registered email or the ORCID and password and then click on Authorize. 
  4. Once you authorize the ORCID to be linked to your PIN you will be returned to the PaperCept subdomain from where you accessed ORCID. 
  5. Follow “Log in to any account associated with this ORCID” to complete associating your PIN to the ORCID. 
  6. If you have inadvertently created multiple PINs in the same subdomain, you can associate all PINs with the same ORCID. 


  • New Paper Length Policy
    To reduce the financial burden on authors, and to allow more space for authors to report their work, the Transactions on Robotics will adopt the following page length policy: For papers submitted after 20 November 2015, there will be no page overlength charges for the first 12 pages of regular papers, and for the first 6 pages of short papers. Regular papers cannot exceed 20 pages, and short papers cannot exceed 8 pages. Page charges will be assessed for those pages in excess of 12 (and up to 20) for regular papers, and for those pages in excess of 6 (and up to 8) for short papers. Other parts of the page length policy not in conflict with the new page length policy will remain in effect.


  • IEEE Open Access - Authors can request open access for their articles for $1750

  • New Members of the Editorial Board - T-RO welcomes the following new editors:
      • Kai Xu (Associate Editor)
      • Soon-Jo Chung (Associate Editor)
      • Mac Schwager (Associate Editor)




 King-Sun Fu Best Transactions on Robotics Paper Award


  • The award for 2015 has been given to the paper,
    "ORB-SLAM: A Versatile and Accurate Monocular SLAM System"
    by Raul Mur-Artal, J. M. M. Montiel and Juan D. Tardos, 
    Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 1147-1163, October 2015, [Xplore Link].

  • Past winners:
    2014: "Catching Objects in Flight"
    by Seungsu Kim, Ashwini Shukla, Aude Billard
    vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 1049-1065, 2014 [Xplore Link].

    2013: "Robots Driven by Compliant Actuators: Optimal Control under Actuation Constraints"
    by David J. Braun, Florian Petit, Felix Huber, Sami Haddadin, Patrick van der Smagt, Alin Albu-Schäffer, Sethu Vijayakumar
    vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 1085-1101, 2013 [Xplore Link].

    "Reinforcement Learning With Sequences of Motion Primitives for Robust Manipulation"
    by Freek Stulp, Evangelos A. Theodorou, Stefan Schaal
    vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 1360-1370, 2012 [Xplore Link].

    2011: " Human-Like Adaptation of Force and Impedance in Stable and Unstable Interactions"
    by  Chenguang Yang, Gowrishankar Ganesh, Sami Haddadin, Sven Parusel, Alin Albu-Schaeffer, Etienne Burdet
    vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 918-930, 2011 [Xplore Link].

    2010: " Design and Control of Concentric-Tube Robots"
    by  Pierre E. Dupont, Jesse Lock, Brandon Itkowitz, Evan Butler
    vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 209-225, 2010 [Xplore Link].

    2009: " Vision-Aided Inertial Navigation for Spacecraft Entry, Descent, and Landing"
    by  Anastasios I. Mourikis, Nikolas Trawny, Stergios I. Roumeliotis, Andrew E. Johnson, Adnan Ansar, Larry Matthies
    vol. 25, no, 2, pp. 264-280, 2009 [Xplore Link].

    2008: " Smooth Vertical Surface Climbing with Directional Adhesion"
    by  Sangbae Kim, Matthew Spenko, Salomon Trujillo, Barrett Heyneman, Daniel Santos, Mark R. Cutkosky
    vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 65-74, 2008 [Xplore Link].

    2007: " Manipulation Planning for Deformable Linear Objects"
    by  Mitul Saha, Pekka Isto
    vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 1141-1150, 2007 [Xplore Link].

    2006: " Exactly Sparse Delayed-State Filters for View-Based SLAM"
    by  Ryan M. Eustice, Hanumant Singh, John J. Leonard
    vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 1100-1114, 2006 [Xplore Link].

    2005: " Active Filtering of Physiological Motion in Robotized Surgery Using Predictive Control"
    by  Romuald Ginhoux, Jacques Gangloff, Michel de Mathelin,Luc Soler, Mara M. Arenas Sanchez, Jacques Marescaux
    vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 67-79, 2005 [Xplore Link].

    2004: " Reactive Path Deformation for Nonholonomic Mobile Robots"
    by  Florent Lamiraux, David Bonnafous, Olivier Lefebvre
    vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 967-977, 2004 [Xplore Link].

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