The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society is seeking qualified recipients for our presitgious awards!

The Nomination Deadline is Tuesday, 1 August.


Who are the Leaders in the robotics and automation field? Who should be honored with a prestigious IEEE RAS Award? Consider nominating them! But hurry, the deadline for IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Award nominations is midnight (US EST) 1 August 2017.

Details for each award, including eligibility, nomination requirements and lists of previous recipients, may be found at

Erwin Prassler (B-IT and Vice President of IEEE RAS for Industrial Activities)
Arturo Baroncelli (Comau and Former President of IFR)

Since the first edition at ICRA 2005 in Barcelona, Spain, the IEEE/IFR Award for Invention and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation has become one of the most renowned non-scientific awards in the robotics community, and has attracted more and more applications in every year. It’s uniqueness is also due to the fact that it is a joint award given by the robotics industry, represented by IFR the International Federation of Robotics, and the robotics research community represented by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. The award is a vital demonstration that robotics industry and research do work together very successfully.

The competition for the 2017 edition of the IERA Award was remarkable in terms of the number of applications as well as in their quality. A jury composed of three members of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and three members of the International Federation of Robotics finally selected the following four finalists:

  • Marco Hutter, ANYbotics AG, ANYdrive: A modular joint actuator for advanced interacting robots
  • Jody Saglia, Movendo Technology s.r.l.: Hunova - an easy to use and intuitive medical device
  • György Cserey, OptoForce Ltd: Sensing flexibility - 3D force and 6-axis force/torque sensors for industrial robotic applications
  • Steve Cousins, Savioke: Relay autonomous delivery robot

The finalists had the opportunity to pitch their business idea at ICRA 2017, Singapore, to the jury and to the large audience of ICRA participants.

IERA 2017 recipient small

The winner by unanimous decision:
Steve Cousins, Savioke: Relay autonomous delivery robot


All finalists have the opportunity to describe their business idea in the next edition of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine. The 2018 edition of the IEEE/IFR IERA Award, which will be renamed the IEEE/IFR Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation, will be organized by IFR during Automatica and ISR 2018.

2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'17)
Vancouver, Canada
24 - 28 September 2017

Entrepreneurship Forum and Start-up Competition (EFSC) 2017
26 September 2017


To foster the entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a platform to encourage researchers and practitioners to transition ideas and prototypes in robotics and intelligent systems to commercializable products, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) is inviting the robotics research community to participate in an Entrepreneurship Forum and Start-up Competition (EFSC) at the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017) in Vancouver, Canada.

The event is intended to inspire, educate, enable, and empower researchers, students, young professionals, and anyone else who has the 'start-up bug' in starting companies of their own but is not sure of how to go about it. We also believe that this event will create an
ecosystem that will provide the much-needed support for start-ups to launch their initiatives while being realistic about their envisioned ideas and products.

EFSC at IROS'17 will consist of three stages:
- In the first stage, submitted applications will be down-selected to arrive at a pool of qualified applicants based on a defined set of criteria developed by the organizers (see 'Application Form' information below).
- This will be followed by a remote stage where the selected applicants will be paired with coaches based on the proposal content and the expertise of the coaches. The coaches will then provide critical feedback and technical and professional assistance to refine the
idea/product pitches.
- The final stage would allow for the refined pitches and content to be presented in front of a distinguished panel of industry and academic experts who have successfully funded, transitioned and have experience in commercialization of robotics and automation technologies.


Anyone with an idea utilizing robotics and/or automation technology that has reached a proof of concept level is welcome to submit an application provided that the entity is 1) less than 3 years old, and 2) has not received any funding from angel investors or venture capitalists in the last 5 years.


Interested applicants should complete the Application Form available for download from:
Please email completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We anticipate travel support for all qualified applicants invited to IROS'17 (~$1500/team) and awards for the top 3 finishers (pending funding approval at the time of this Call). Qualified applicants will further receive a free mini-booth in the IROS'17 exhibition area
for an interactive presentation of their product (idea).


Submission of Application Forms: 24 July 2017
Announcement of Selected Applicants: 18 August 2017
Final Presentations at IROS'17: 26 September 2017


Erwin Prassler (H-BRS, IEEE RAS VP for Industrial Activities)
Dominik Boesl (KUKA AG)
Jianwei Zhang (U. Hamburg)

2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017)
24-28 September 2017, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

IROS Logo V2 cropped

You are cordially invited to contribute abstract-only submissions to IROS 2017. Similar to the Late-Breaking Results posters at previous IROS’s, abstract-only submissions are one-page in length with a streamlined acceptance-decision process, and they are presented at the conference as posters. This component of the conference technical program is intended to reach out to the broader robotics research community, and the submissions are not peer-reviewed. Although accepted abstracts will be included in the conference proceedings, since they are not considered as publications, they will not be submitted to IEEE for inclusion in the Xplore database.

Under the theme of Friendly People, Friendly Robots, IROS 2017 particularly welcomes submissions that address technological challenges in developing friendly robots that can work effectively with, for, and around people. As always, we also invite submissions in all areas of intelligent robots and systems, their components, and applications.

Important Dates

15 July 2017 - Submission deadline (extended)
18 July 2017 - Notification of acceptance decisions
1 August 2017 - Final submission
24-28 Sept 2017 - Poster presentation IROS 2017 in Vancouver


To submit, please visit

The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society's Conference Activities Board (CAB) is seeking proposals for organizing/hosting the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), which will be held in North or South America. All proposals and documentation must be received by 1 August 2017, with the intention of discussing proposals during the 24 September 2017 CAB meeting held during IROS 2017 in Vancouver. Two-three Proposals will chosen to evaluated in person at ICRA 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. The final decision will be made after presentation to CAB, followed by a presentation and vote by the RAS Administrative Committee on 26 May 2018 in Brisbane, Australia.


Proposals must be submitted online here:
eadline: 1 August 2017

An ICRA checklist has been created. Proposals should address as many of the topics as possible:

For more information, please refer to

Questions? Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine is soliciting nominations for two new Associate Editors, with a term beginning January 2018. The Associate Editors play an important role in maintaining the caliber of the magazine by ensuring the quality of published articles by implementing reviews of technical features according to IEEE guidelines, soliciting interesting and topical material articles for publication in the magazine, guiding the overall direction of the publication and providing feedback from the readership through e-mail conversations, teleconferences, and twice-yearly in-person meetings held in conjunction with IEEE RAS International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA) and the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).


Associate Editor terms normally consist of a one-year probation period followed by two years of additional service if performance is satisfactory. Applicants should have a strong technical background and excellent English language skills.

Nominations should include a resume (not to exceed three pages), previous experience with publications as a reviewer or in other capacities, and areas of technical expertise. Please submit nominations as a single pdf file to Amy Reeder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Deadline is by 1 September 2017.


These RAS-funded projects shall create good educational materials in wide variety of RA science and technologies for broad users including young students who are beginning to learn this area and top-class researchers/practitioners/educators who need the newest deep knowledge. The developed material will be distributed worldwide at RAS webpage, IEEE Press, conference tutorials, robot competitions and/or exhibitions.


As a leader in the field of robotics and automation, IEEE RAS is expected to provide good educational material to its members and general public. However, RAS does not have enough volume of such contents, except for excellent books and conference tutorials. The
new RAS webpage has no contents for education by which people can learn robotics and automation.

Examples of Contents

The projects can create some of the followings but not limited to
- open contents/courses for every RAS members (scientific/technical specialists);
- open contents/courses for general public (outreach, school teachers, children);
- material on webpage, by PDF books, multimedia contents, paper books, or whatever;
- for developing countries and regions as well as advanced countries and regions;
- for free, or partially sold by IEEE;
- may be translated into several languages (EN, CN, ES, FR, DE, KR, JP, ...); and/or
- any other contents to contribute RA education.


IEEE RAS will fund about 10,000 USD for each project for one year or multiple years. In 2014, five projects were accepted. In 2015, five projects were accepted. In 2016, four projects were accepted. In 2017, four projects were accepted. Up to five projects will be accepted in 2018. The approved project can use the budget for webpage, assisting student work, translation, meetings, travel, etc. on the basis of the proposer's budget plan with following the IEEE financial rule. A project of multiple years can be accepted, if the reason is clear.


RAS Technical Committees (TCs), RAS MAB Education Committee (EC), or groups endorsed by TC or EC are eligible to submit a proposal. The proposal should state the following in no more than five pages:
(1st Page)
title of proposal; names and affiliations of the corresponding proposer and the group members; name(s) of TC or EC; executive summary of the proposal; way of distribution (webpage, books, etc.)
(2nd - 5th Pages)
scope (purpose, area of technical fields, target zone of education, ...); goal (contents, courses, materials, cost, ...); exams for checking the success; schedule (action plan, development process, ...); budget plan; and short CVs of the corresponding proposer and some of major members.


The proposals of project in 2018 should be submitted by e-mail to RAS VP for Technical Activities, Fumihito Arai <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> by 30 June 2017. All the proposals will be reviewed by RAS Technical Activity Board (TAB) CEMRA Project Review Committee consisting of anonymous senior reviewers without conflict of interest. Note that this RAS initiative is planned to continue for five years in 2014-2018.

Final Project Review

The final results of accepted proposals will be reviewed on the basis of the exams stated in the proposal. All the created materials will be displayed at RAS sponsored conference (ICRA or CASE or IROS) next year. The financial report must be submitted by the deadline specified by TAB.

Important Dates

Proposal Due for 2018 Projects: 30 June 2017
Presentation for 2018 Projects: TAB at IROS2017 in Vancouver, Canada

Congratulations to the following Authors for their outstanding achievement as recipients of RAS Publication Awards! The awards were announced and presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) on 1 June 2017 in Singapore.

2017 King-Sun Fu Memorial Award: Best Paper in the IEEE Transactions on Robotics

T RO small

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2017 King-Sun Fu Memorial Award. This award honors the best paper printed in the IEEE Transactions on Robotics in the previous year, and was presented by Frank Park - Editor in Chief.

“Rapidly Exploring Random Cycles: Persistent Estimation of Spatiotemporal Fields With Multiple Sensing Robots”
Xiaodong Lan and Mac Schwager
IEEE Transactions on Robotics; vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 1230-1244, October 2016




IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine Best Paper Award

RAM small

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2017 RAM Best Paper Award. This award honors the best paper printed in the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine in the previous year, and was presented by Bram Vanderborght - Editor in Chief.

“Practice Makes Perfect-An Optimization Based Approach to Controlling Agile Motions for a Quadruped Robot”
Christian Gehring, Stelian Coros, Marco Hutter, Dario Bellicoso, Huub Heijnen, Remo Diethelm, Michael Bloesch, Péter Fankhauser, Jemin Hwangbo, Markus A. Hoepflinger, Roland Siegwart
IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine; vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 34-43, March 2016


NEW For 2017: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters Best Paper Award


Letters small

"Compliant Aerial Manipulators: Toward a New Generation of Aerial Robotic Workers"
Bartelds, A. Capra, S. Hamaza, S. Stramigioli and M. Fumagalli
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters; vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 477-483, January 2016

"Model-Less Hybrid Position/Force Control: A Minimalist Approach for Continuum Manipulators in Unknown, Constrained Environments"
Michael. C. Yip and David B. Camarillo
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters; vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 844-851, July 2016


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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
- 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:

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.

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