We are pleased to announce a Special Issue on "Control and Motion Planning for Nonprehensile Dynamic Manipulation".

MOTIVATION AND OBJECTIVES

The robotic manipulation problem aims at finding a set of suitable controls to lead the configuration of an object to a desired pose. However, can we do such an action only by grasping? In truth, thanks to the high dexterity of the human hand, a manipulation task can be achieved also in nonprehensile –the object is not grasped –and dynamic –dynamics is exploited to control the motion– ways.

The state of the art of robotic manipulation is still rather far from the human dexterity in the execution of complex motions, such as in nonprehensile dynamic manipulation tasks. This may reduce the opportunities for wide adoption of robots within human co-habited environments. Nonprehensile manipulation is considered as the most complex category of manipulation, requiring adhoc controllers and specialized hardware. Since the object is not caged between fingertips, the part is moved exploiting its dynamics, and it is possible to increase the workspace by throwing and catching the object. As examples, think of a juggler, or a pizza maker or even of a surgeon pushing away organs, arteries, or making sutures. In several industrial applications, it is not directly possible to manipulate the object through firm/fine/precise manipulation, therefore only nonprehensile manipulation is allowed (e.g., using vibratory platforms). In case of deformable objects, for instance, the related tasks become even more challenging. The control design must carefully take into account dynamic models of both the robot and the object, posing thus new challenges in high-speed sensing, motion planning and control.

This Special Issue aims at collecting the latest results achieved by the researchers working in motion planning and control of robots for nonprehensile dynamic tasks involving manipulation. Moreover, people working on hybrid and switching dynamical systems may find several points in common with the subjects addressed within the letters submitted to such Special Issue. The sought ambition is to provide the groundwork to stir the current idea of robot manipulation that is still too much conceived as simple pick-and-place applications. This might be the starting point within the research community to arise future discussions regarding possible expectations, open-topics, longterm goals and enhance collaboration among research teams.

LIST OF TOPICS

The list of topics include, but it is not limited to:
- Nonprehensile dynamic manipulation
- Nonlinear control of hybrid dynamic systems
- Impedance and force control in robotic dynamic manipulation tasks
- Motion planning for nonprehensile robot manipulatioN

The Special Issue will cover both motion planning and control aspect to achieve the object manipulation in a nonprehensile way. Moreover, the shared connections with other similar control problems, like piece-wise smooth and impacting systems are welcome.

IMPORTANT DATES

Special Issue Submission Opens: 20 July 2017
Special Issue Submission Closes: 30 July 2017
First Decision Communicated to Authors: 24 October 2017
Final Decision Communicated to Authors: 28 December 2017
Accepted RA-L Papers appear on IEEE Xplore: 16 January 2018

GUEST EDITORS

Fabio Ruggiero (Università di Napoli Federico II)
Vincenzo Lippiello (Università di Napoli Federico II)
Bruno Siciliano (Università di Napoli Federico II)

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 January 16, 2018 or rejected.

PAPER SUBMISSION

Please, start to prepare your material and be ready for the opening of the submissions (20 July 2017).

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.
- Select our SI within the menu "Select the type of the submission".
- 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

This Article was originally published in the IEEE Society Sentinel (2017-05-10 Vol. 22, No. 09)

 

To help bring new research findings to the practitioners who can apply it, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) implemented a Note to Practitioners feature in one of its publications. “For each paper we include a second abstract, the ‘Note to Practitioners’, where the authors address non-academic readers, explaining the primary applications, insights, and limitations of the paper in plain language avoiding jargon,” notes Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley Professor of Engineering and co-founder and Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE).

Summarizing the paper in this way, the Note to Practitioners connects research and practice.

“The IEEE Periodicals Review and Advisory Committee (PRAC) review was highly complimentary about this feature and considers it a best practice. Other Societies and Councils could consider implementing it in their own publications to engage non-experts,” says Goldberg.

The IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE) publishes fundamental papers on Automation, encouraging interdisciplinary approaches from computer science, control systems, electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, operations research, and other fields. T-ASE welcomes results relevant to industries such as agriculture, biotechnology, healthcare, home automation, maintenance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, retail, security, service, supply chains, and transportation. T-ASE addresses a research community willing to integrate knowledge across disciplines and industries. For this purpose, each paper includes a Note to Practitioners that summarizes how its results can be applied or how they might be extended to apply in practice.

“The Note to Practitioners has been a requirement for all T-ASE papers since 2004. We believe this has been very successful and may be of interest for other IEEE publications,” says Goldberg.

Daniela Rus, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) received the 2017 Engelberger Robotics Award for Education at a special ceremony on 5 April 2017.

The award is named for Joseph F. Engelberger, known throughout the world as the ”father of robotics.” Engelberger was founder and president of Unimation, Inc., the world's first industrial robot manufacturer. The Engelberger Robotics awards are presented to individuals for excellence in technology development, application, education and leadership in the robotics industry. Winners receive a $5,000 honorarium and commemorative medallion with the inscription, "Contributing to the advancement of the science of robotics in the service of mankind." The awards recognize outstanding individuals from all over the world. Since the award’s inception in 1977, it has been bestowed upon 124 robotics leaders from 17 different nations. 

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Daniela Rus is recognized for her leadership as a researcher, innovator and educator in the field of robotics. Her research group, the Distributed Robotics Lab, has developed modular and self-reconfiguring robots, systems of self-organizing robots, networks of robots and sensors for first-responders, mobile sensor networks, techniques for cooperative underwater robotics and new technology for desktop robotics. They have built robots that can tend a garden, bake cookies from scratch, cut a birthday cake, fly in swarms without human aid to perform surveillance functions and dance with humans. The lab has also worked on self-driving golf carts, wheel chairs, scooters, and city cars with the objective of reducing traffic fatalities and providing technologies for personal mobility for the elderly population. Companies such as iRobot and Boeing have commercialized innovations drawn from Dr. Rus’ research. She is the first woman to serve as director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and its predecessors the AI Lab and the Lab for Computer Science.

The 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems will bring approximately 2500 robotics and automation experts who attend to network with colleagues, learn the latest innovations, and meet with vendors who supply important products and solutions to technical problems. The exhibition is closely integrated with the technical program through workshops and tutorials, plenaries, mini-plenaries, interactive sessions, robot demonstrations, an industrial innovation showcase, and social activities for attendees and guests.

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IROS 2017 will be held in Vancouver, BC, Canada from 24-28 September 2017

Download the IROS 2017 Sponsor and Exhibitor Prospectus

Download the application for exhibit space and sponsorship

For additional information, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) will be held from 29 May-3 June 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. ICRA is IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference and is a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work.

CONFERENCE UPDATES

The Technical Program is now available: https://ras.papercept.net/conferences/conferences/ICRA17/program/
 All papers at ICRA2017 will have the same type of presentation in a session: a brief 5-minute spotlight talk in series, followed by a 35-minute interactive presentation in parallel. Please refer to the speaker instructions page
for details: http://www.icra2017.org/conference/speaker-instructions

Early and advance registrants for ICRA2017 (before 15 May 2017) in the standard and student registration categories will receive a free 7-inch tablet containing the conference proceedings and conference app as part of the registration package. This is the first time that ICRA attempts to innovate on the distribution of conference proceedings and conference program to delegates. There will be NO USB proceedings nor printed conference program digest book given to delegates. The conference digest book and paper proceedings will be pre-installed in the tablet. The conference app also has a cloud-based web portal for information distribution and sharing. Details on collection and use of the tablet will be announced in May 2017. Tablets for onsite registrants are subject to availability.

Online registration closes on 15 May 2017

Industry Forum
Runs on 30-31 May. Speakers include representatives from KUKA, ABB, Kinova, Savioke, Kuang-Chi Institute of Advanced Technology, ST Aerospace, Nvidia, and more.
Speaker list is here: http://www.icra2017.org/conference/forums/industry-forum

RIE Robotics, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum
ICRA 2017 will introduce a new Robotics Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RIE) Forum that aims to bridge technological advances with real-world problems. The forum will connect promising start-ups with industry leaders in key application domains. New hybrid format forum on May 30 and 31 connects robotics start-ups with investors like Armstrong Industrial Corporation, BP Digital Innovation Organization, Clear Water Bay Startup Fund, and GreenMeadows Accelerator. Industry leaders in key domains such as autonomous driving, logistics, healthcare, service, collaborative manufacturing and education and social will share current real-world needs. See the participating changemakers here: http://www.icra2017.org/conference/forums/rie-forum

The RIE Forum will be held on 30-31 May 2017 and features six industry focus areas: Autonomous Driving, Service, Healthcare, Logistics, Education & Social, and Collaborative Manufacturing.
Start-up Corner
ICRA 2017 welcomes start-up companies to market their products and services to a highly relevant audience of robotics and automation researchers, developers and industry leaders. Start-ups will have the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their products in a highly interactive environment within the exhibition area at ICRA 2017.

In addition, selected start-ups can pitch their innovations at the Robotics Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RIE) Forum in one of the six industry focus areas, namely, Autonomous Driving, Service, Healthcare, Logistics, Education & Social, and Collaborative Manufacturing.

For more information see: http://www.icra2017.org/sponsors-and-exhibitors/start-up-corner

Please contact ICRA 2017 Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or call +65 6389 626 to secure your space at the ICRA 2017 Start-up Corner.

IEEE and RAS to provide a FREE Workshop during the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2017) will be held from 29 May-3 June 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

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Sharing open source is becoming a norm among researchers in all fields of science. But it is not always clear why it’s important and how to do it in the best possible way.

During the workshop, we will talk about best practices in computational reproducibility and reuse. In addition, we will introduce a new service provided to IEEE authors called Code Ocean. For the first time, IEEE authors can upload code and data in 10 programming languages* and link a working code in a computational environment with the associated article. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to publish their conference algorithm, making it automatically available on their article page in IEEE Xplore. That algorithm can be cited using a dedicated Digital Object Identifier (DOI) in addition to the article citations.

The platform provides open access to the published software code, data, and results to view and download for everyone. Users can execute all published code without having to install anything on their personal computer. Everything runs in the cloud on CPUs or GPUs according to the user needs.

* Python, R, Matlab, Octave, Java, Julia, C/C++, Fortran, Perl, Lua.

REGISTRATION

The Workshop will be held on Friday, 2 June 2017 from 9:00-11:00
Register for this FREE Workshop herehttp://bit.ly/2pHvikd

Code Ocean is a cloud-based executable research platform that provides researchers and developers an easy way to share, discover and run code published in academic journals and conferences.
Explore algorithms: http://bit.ly/2oRpJhE

IEEE AND CODE OCEAN

IEEE publishes a large volume of articles that reference code and algorithms, but - until now- readers had no way to interact with the code and simulations. Readers were only able to read the algorithms or download static supplemental files.

IEEE is excited to partner with Code Ocean, a cloud-based executable research platform that allows gives authors the ability to upload their algorithms so that other IEEE Xplore users can discover, view, and run them in real-time. This additional interactivity allows users a more robust and efficient way to experiment with algorithms, reproduce the research, and develop new algorithms.

By using Code Ocean, researchers, engineers, developers, and scientists can upload code and data in 10 programming languages and link a working code in a cloud-based computational environment with the associated IEEE article. A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is assigned to each algorithm that further promotes correct attribution and improves citations.

A special issue on "Human Cooperative Wearable Robotic Systems" is planned for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L).

All the submissions should present original works under the RA-L terms. As a joint event with the IEEE International Conference on Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics (ICARM 2017), authors from all accepted special issue papers are cordially invited to participate in the special session "Human Cooperative Wearable Robotics" of the ICARM 2017 conference. Rejected papers by RA-L letter are possible to be accepted by the IEEE ICARM 2017 after necessary revisions as well, and will be presented in the same special session. 

Potential authors can contact the special issue Guest Editors for questions and clarifications:
Fei Chen - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Zhijun Li - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IMPORTANT DATES

Special Issue Submission Opens: 10 May 2017
Special Issue Submission Closes: 15 May 2017
First Decision Communicated to Authors: 9 August 2017
Final Decision Communicated to Authors: 13 October 2017
Accepted RAL Papers appear on Xplore: November 2017

INTRODUCTION

Intelligent techniques foster the dissemination of new discoveries and novel technologies that advance the ability of robotics to assist and support humans. Intelligent robots aim to understand the increasingly coupled relationships between human and machine. With the increasing trend towards home service and health care, we are faced with a need for improved control systems of human-centered assistive and rehabilitation robots capable of performing in the unstructured environments. Although big progress has been made in the recent years, there are still open issues due to the limitation in technology, but also the insufficient knowledge about the human.

The special issue addresses a broad spectrum of topics within wearable robotics. Special attention should be given to the integration of robotics with intelligent control technology, cognitive science and bio-mechatronics systems with the goal of developing new multi-dimensional robotic services. This includes mechanism modeling and design, model identification and intelligent control, cognitive computing, biological signal processing, neural impedance adaptation, tele-operation and tele-manipulation, robot learning from human demonstration and cognitive modeling for human-robot interaction or collaboration. The special issue publishes original papers of innovative ideas and concepts, new discoveries and improvements, and novel applications and business models relevant to the field of human robot interaction.

RELEVENT TOPICS

  • Design, modeling and control of wearable robots and exoskeletons
  • Novel development of human-in-loop cooperative robotic/mechatronics systems and applications
  • Impedance control and shared control for human robot cooperation
  • Intelligent control of prosthetic robots for the disabled
  • Biological signal processing, modeling and control
  • Development of bio-mechatronic systems for human-centered intelligent robots
  • Robotic tele-operation and tele-manipulation
  • Neuro-robotics for innovative computation and control
  • Human motion understanding, intention estimation and sensorimotor learning

THE SPECIAL ISSUE IS SUPPORTED BY

IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Telerobotics
IEEE SMC Technical Committee on Bio-mechatronics and Bio-robotics Systems
The 10th International Workshops on Human-Friendly Robotics 2017
2017 IEEE International Conference on Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics (ICARM'17)

The Student Activities Committee (SAC) of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society is seeking motivated students to serve as Regional Student Representatives (RSRs) for one year. If you are a graduate student who is passionate about robotics, organized, communicative, and driven to help others in your community - please consider applying to be the RSR for your region (https://www.ieee.org/societies_communities/geo_activities/regional_world_map.html) today!

Regional Student Representatives are expected to attend regular meeting with SAC members, distribute information to student chapters within his or her region as requested, welcome and assist newly formed student chapters, update chapter contact lists through the RAS website, and provide regular updates and photos for SAC social media announcements. RSRs are also highly encouraged to promote various robotics activities within their regions in order to strengthen the local robotics network. Ideas for new activities are always welcome, as is an analysis of how to improve future activities!

Interested applicants should be:

  • Self-motivated
  • Organized
  • Responsive to e-mail discussions
  • Able to commit weekly time to RSR material, and to specific activities (e.g. reviewing volunteer proposals, organizing regional activities, etc.)
  • Graduate-level engineering student in robotics or related field

To apply, please prepare a zip folder containing

  • Short resume (no more than 2 pages) highlighting community service and IEEE experience
  • Cover letter specifying applicant’s interest in serving as an RSR and relevant experience
  • Letter of recommendation from professor (preferably a current IEEE member)

Email the folder to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “RSR Application” by 1 May 2017

The Human Standard Webinar

18 April 2017 at 12:00PM- 1:00PM EDT

In the age of autonomous and intelligent machines, it is more important than ever to help technologists and organizations be cognizant of the ethical implications of the products, services or systems they are building and how they are being built before making them available to the general public. While established Codes of Ethics provide instrumental guidance for employee behavior, new values-centric methodologies are needed to complement these codes to address the growing use of algorithms and personalization in the marketplace.

Key insights from the Working Group Chairs of three IEEE-SA projects will be presented. The IEEE Global Initiative provided the input and recommendations that led to the creation of Working Groups for these IEEE-SA standards projects:
IEEE P7001™: Transparency of Autonomous Systems
IEEE P7003™: Algorithmic Bias Considerations

Speakers will provide their perspectives on why it is important for business leaders to increase due diligence relative to ethical considerations for what they create. This focus is not just about avoiding unintended consequences, but also increasing innovation by better aligning with customer and end-user values.

REGISTER NOW!

RAS is pleased to arrange three networking Luncheon events for our Members attending ICRA 2017 in Singapore. Space is limited for these popular events. Don't miss the chance to attend either or both because the space has been filled. Advanced registration is required. Register Now! http://www.icra2017.org/registration-and-travel/registration

LwL 2016

RAS Women In Engineering (WIE) Luncheon

Tuesday, 30 May 2017
12:45-13:45
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

The 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.

Guest Speaker: Barbara Mazzolai, Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy

RAS Lunch with Leaders - LwL (for Students)

Wednesday, 31 May 2017
13:30-14:30
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

This luncheon is open to student attendees offering the chance to meet and interact with and leaders from RAS. At ICRA 2017, the format of the luncheon will be modified slightly, each table will be associated with a focus area and several discussion topics. Leaders will be paired with tables according to their interests and background.

Confirmed Leaders to include: RAS President Satoshi Takodoro, RAS Past President Raja Chatila, RAS Sr Past President David Orin, RAS President-Elect Ning Xi, Antonio Bicchi, Peter Corke, Torsten Kroeger, Ron Lumia, Raj Madhavan, Yasushi Nakauchi, Allison Okamura, Jing Xiao, Hong Zhang

Young Professionals Luncheon

Wednesday, 31 May 2017
13:30-14:30
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Under the umbrella of IEEE Young Professionals program, the Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) is further empowering its young professionals through the RAS Young Professionals (YP) group. This year’s event brings together representatives from the IEEE RAS Publication Activities Board and RAS Young Professionals to enjoy a meal and open discussions on important topics relating to the publications in our society, such as:

  • What are the obstacles that delay the Submission to feedback-to-Authors procedure?
  • What is required to extend a workshop/conference publication to a journal article?
  • Open access vs traditional publications
  • Why robotics journal impact factors are lower than the human science (or similar) fields?

We expect short presentations from EiCs and Editors of RAS Journals, followed by questions from the YP community.
Confirmed RAS Publication Leadership:
Eugenio Guglielmelli (Vice-President – Publication Activities)
Kyu Jin Cho (Associate Vice-President - Publication Activities)
Frank Park (IEEE Transactions on Robotics Editor-in-Chief)
Bram Vanderbrought (Robotics and Automation Magazine Editor-In-Chief)
Lorenzo Sabattini (Robotics and Automation Magazine Editor)
Yi Guo (Robotics and Automation Magazine Editor)
Hu Hesuan (Robotics and Automation Magazine Editor)
Ning Xi (Representative to the IEEE Sensors Journal)

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