T-RO - IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

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.


Presenting Your Accepted Transactions Paper at ICRA 2019

Authors of papers that are accepted for publication in the Transactions in 2018 will have the opportunity to present their work at ICRA 2019. Those of you interested in this option should submit your original work to the Transactions as soon as possible. The basic guidelines are as follows:

  • Papers that are published, or accepted for publication, in the IEEE Transactions on Robotics between the period January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2018 (this period may be subject to slight adjustment), and that are not based in large part on previously published conference proceedings papers involving the same authors, are eligible.
  • Authors of qualified papers will be invited to submit their work for possible presentation at ICRA 2019. Final selection will be announced at the same time as regular submissions to ICRA 2019.
  • Authors of accepted papers are subject to the same requirements as those of regular conference submissions, i.e., full registration by at least one author is required, with up to two papers allowed per registration; the papers will be assigned to sessions and presented in the same manner as regular conference submissions.
  • Those TRO papers accepted for presentation at ICRA 2019 will not appear in the Xplore ICRA 2019 proceedings, since they will be published as TRO papers.

Background: For the 2018 edition of ICRA, 26 papers that were recently published in the Transactions, and that were not evolved versions of previously published conference papers, were selected for presentation as regular ICRA 2018 contributions. For the 2017 edition of ICRA, 15 papers that were recently published in the Transactions, and that were not evolved versions of previously published conference papers, were selected for oral presentation in three specially designated T-RO sessions. Authors of papers accepted for publication in the Transactions will continue to be given an opportunity to present their work at future RAS-sponsored conferences like ICRA and IROS.

The Transactions continues to publish select papers that are evolved versions of previously published conference papers. To be sure, such conference-to-journal submissions do have their place. Ideally the journal paper should be a considerably value-added and improved version of the original conference paper: from the feedback obtained via the review process as well as from presentation at the conference, valuable insights can be gained and the research enhanced considerably, leading to a much-improved final version of the paper.

However, we are witnessing a rising number of incremental submissions that do not match the above guidelines. Such submissions moreover needlessy consume the time and effort of our reviewers and editorial board. 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 has also developed a mechanism that will allow authors to present their original work published in the Transactions to the research community at ICRA. Through the pilot studies conducted at ICRA 2017 and ICRA 2018, we are developing a more sustainable and permanent mechanism for this Transactions-to-conference presentation route for ICRA 2019 and beyond, and to expand this option to other IEEE RAS-sponsored conferences. Once established, researchers will now be able to submit their original unpublished work directly to the Transactions, and if accepted, then immediately present their work at ICRA or another IEEE RAS conference of their choice.

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 sjchung@caltech.edu, vijay.kumar@seas.upenn.edu, a.paranjape@imperial.ac.uk, pdames@temple.edu, and eeshaojie@ust.hk.

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


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 associate editors:

Patrick Wensing
Paolo Robuffo-Giordano


Table of Contents of the latest T-RO issue (IEEE Xplore)
Early Access Articles
Most Downloaded Articles
Special issue on Nanorobotics: Volume 30, Issue 1, February 2014


King-Sun Fu Best Transactions on Robotics Paper Award

2017: "On-Manifold Preintegration for Real-Time Visual-Inertial Odometry"
by Christian Forster, Luca Carlone, Frank Dellaert, and Davide Scaramuzza, 
vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 1-21, February 2017, [Xplore Link]

2016: "Rapidly Exploring Random Cycles: Persistent Estimation of Spatiotemporal Fields With Multiple Sensing Robots"
by Xiaodong Lan and Mac Schwager, 
vol. 32, No. 5, pp. 1230-1244, October 2016, [Xplore Link]

 2015: "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, 2015 [Xplore Link].

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].

2012: "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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