RAS E-News December 2009

Volume 7, Number 5


1. Kumar, Siegwart, Xiao, Kragic, Laumond and Durrant-Whyte elected to RAS AdCom Class of 2012

Robotics and Automation Society members elected six new Administrative Committee members to serve a three-year term on the Society's governing body. The new AdCom members are:

  • Vijay Kumar, University of Pennsylvania, USA  elected at large
  • Roland Siegwart, ETH Autonomous Systems Lab , Switzerland,  elected at large
  • Jing Xiao, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, USA, elected from RAS Geographical Area 1 (IEEE Regions 1-6, 7, and  9)
  • Danica Kragic, KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication, Sweden, elected from RAS Geographical Area 2 (IEEE Region 8)
  • Jean-Paul Laumond,  LAAS-CNRS, Gepetto Lab, France,  elected from Geographical Area 2 (IEEE Region 8)
  • Hugh Durrant-Whyte, The University of Sydney, Australia, elected from Geographical Area 3 (IEEE Region 10).


The RAS has 18 elected members, who serve staggered three-year terms.

2. Congratulations to RAS Members Elected to 2010 Fellows Class

Congratulations to the following new IEEE Fellows, which were announced in December 2009.

 NancyAmato  StefanoChiaverini  GregChirikijian  KevinLynch LarryMatthias

 Nancy Amato

 Stefano Chiaverini

 Greg Chirikjian

 Kevin Lynch

 Larry Matthies

 RobinMurphy  LynneParker  DanielaRus  JeffTrinkle  CharlesWampler

 Robin Murphy

 Lynne Parker

 Daniela Rus

 Jeff Trinkle

 Charles Wampler

The following new IEEE Fellows were evaluated   by the Robotics and Automation Society:

  • Nancy Marie Amato, Texas A&M University, USA, for contributions to the algorithmic foundations of motion planning in robotics and computational biology
  • Stefano Chiaverini, Università di Cassino, Italy, for contributions to kinematics and control of robot manipulators and autonomous vehicles
  • Greg Chirikjian, Johns Hopkins University, USA, for contributions to hyper-redundant manipulators
  • Kevin Michael Lynch, Northwestern University, USA, for contributions to robotic manipulation, motion planning, and control of mechanical systems
  • Larry Henry Matthies, Jet Propulsion Laboratory USA, for contributions to perception systems for autonomous navigation of unmanned vehicles
  • Robin Roberson Murphy, Texas A&M University, USA, for contributions to rescue robotics and insertion of robots into major disasters
  • Lynne E. Parker, University of Tennessee, USA, for contributions to distributed and heterogeneous multi-robot systems
  • Daniela Lucia Rus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, for contributions to distributed and modular robotics
  • Jeffrey Coates Trinkle, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), USA , for contributions to analysis of robotic grasping and dexterous manipulation
  • Charles Weldon Wampler, General Motors Research & Development  Center, USA for developments in robotics for the automotive industry and for contributions in robot kinematics

The following RAS IEEE  Fellows evaluated by other IEEE Societies

  • Francesco Bullo, University of California at Santa Barbara (CS), for contributions to geometric and cooperative control with applications to mechanical and robotic systems
  • Raffaello D’Andrea, ETH Zurich Switzerland (CS), for contributions to control of multi-vehicle of autonomous systems
  • Rodolphe Sepulchre, Université de Liège, Belgium (CS), for contributions to nonlinear systems
  • Roger Lawrence, RGL Solutions, Cary NC USA ,for contributions to energy efficient Adjustable Speed Drive systems

The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. A brief citation is issued to new Fellows describing their accomplishments.  The total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting Institute membership, which this year 309. Each nomination  is carefully reviewed by a committee of an IEEE Society chosen by the nominee before being referred to the IEEE Fellow Committee which makes recommendations to the IEEE Board of Directors.

Fellow Nominations for the  class of 2011 are due March 1 2010. For information, lists of all fellows,  and nominations forms and instructions see http://www.ieee.org/fellows.

3. Call for Nominations for IEEE and RAS Awards and Honors

    • IEEE Robotics and Automation Award (deadline, January 31, 2010).
      This is an IEEE Institute Level Technical Field Award, and includes a $10,000 cash prize. For information and a list of previous recipients see: http://www.ieee.org/portal/pages/about/awards/tfalist.html.
    • IEEE Fellow (deadline March 1, 2010)
      The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting Institute membership, which this year was 309. Each nomination is carefully reviewed by a committee of an IEEE Society chosen by the nominee before being referred to the IEEE Fellow Committee which makes recommendations to the IEEE Board of Directors. Nominees must be IEEE Senior Members. For further details and nomination instructions see http://www.ieee.org/web/membership/fellows/index.html

RAS Society Awards (Deadline March 1, 2010)

The Robotics and Automation Society sponsors 6 individual and 2 group awards to recognize outstanding accomplishments and/or service to the Society:

      • RAS Chapter of the Year Award
      • RAS Most Active Technical Committee Award
      • RAS Most Active Distinguished Lecturer Award
      • RAS Pioneer Award
      • RAS Early Career Awards in Academia and Industry/Government
      • IEEE-RAS Distinguished Service Award
      • EEE Inaba Technical Award for Innovation Leading to Production
      • IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation
      • Descriptions of these awards, lists of previous recipients and nomination forms are available at http://www.ieee-ras.org/awards/societyawards. IEEE/IFR Invention and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation (IERA) (deadline for applications March 31, 2010

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) jointly sponsor the Invention and Entrepreneurship Award. The purpose of this award is to highlight and honour the achievements of the inventors with value creating ideas and entrepreneurs who propel those ideas into world-class products. At the same time the joint disposition of the award underlines the determination of both organizations to promote stronger collaboration between robotics science and robotics industry.

The award consists of a plaque and a $2,000 honorarium. In case there are multiple winners, each recipient will receive a plaque and the honorarium will be equally split between the recipients. For further details and application instructions, See http://www.ieee-ras.org/industrial/ieeeifr.

4. Calls for Papers: Robotics and Automation Magazine

Robot Authentication

The goal of this Special Issue is to concentrate specifically on unique aspects of automatic identification of artificial entities (robots, bots, avatars, etc.) and complementary problem of human recognition by such artificial agents. The issue concentrates on all aspects of human/robot recognition, which spans the fields of robotics, as well as biometrics, security, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, cognitive science, virtual reality and many other domains.

High-quality unpublished contributions are invited to one of the following topics devoted to robotic authentication:

        1. Automatic, fast and accurate identification of artificial entities by humans, and vice versa, utilizing visual biometrics, pattern matching, learning algorithms, spatio-temporal analysis, computational geometry, 3D rendering and machine learning;
        2. Behavior pattern recognition in simple and multi-robot systems, including cooperative behavior, robot to robot or robot to human interaction, self-localization, replication, and other patterns;
        3. All aspects of pattern recognition and authentication as applied to intelligent machines, mobile robots, human-like robots, androids, avatars and intelligent software agents.

Articles addressing other aspects of identification of artificial entities in robotics, as well as biometric, security, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, cognitive science and virtual reality fields, including but not limited to the list below, will also be considered:

      • complex pattern analysis based on visual, interactive and behavioral components of appearance of a robot/avatar/bot;
      • utilizing advanced image/signal matching combined with AI learning algorithms and training (such as AdaBoost);
      • performing cognitive informatics analysis to identify normal/abnormal behavior;
      • rendering spatial images from 3D models and vice versa for emotions and behavior analysis in humans and robots/avatars;
      • matching common reaction to a set of related tasks, including quizzing visual or audio information or designing special interaction tests;
      • incorporating implicit tests into the robot to robot or robot to human communication.

Deadline for online submissions via Papercept: May 1 2010, Publication December 2010


Original and unpublished high-quality research results are solicited to explore and boost the new areas relevant to Roboethics. Contributions are welcome on the ethical, legal and societal aspects of the following topics (but not limited to):

      • Economy (Replacing humans in the workplace; Robotics and the job market) •
      • Psychology (Position of humans in the control hierarchy; Robots and children)
      • Law (Robots and liability; Deployment of autonomously acting robots)
      • Health (Robotics in surgery; Robotics in health care, assistance, prosthetics and therapy)
      • Military application of robotics (Acceptability, Advantages and Risks, Codes)
      • Environment (Underwater robotics noise pollution; Cleaning nuclear and toxic waste)
      • Service (Social robotics, Personal assistants, Companions)
      • Technical Dependability (Availability; Reliability; Safety; Security)

Deadline for online submissions via Papercept: September 1, 2010, Publication: March 2011.

5. RA Magazine News

RAM to expand its web presence

Jonathan Roberts, the new magazine Videos Editor has established a YouTube channel to provide a central point for videos of real robots. If you have a cool video from your lab, send the URL to Roberts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On the cover of Rolling Stone

Not quite, but the magazine will be undergoing some redesign and will move to having photographs on the front cover. If you've got a great robot photo and would like to be considered for the cover of the magazine please contact Associate Editor Srikanth Saripalli. If the photo is > 20MB please email them to him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Otherwise please contact him by email and he will provide a web address to upload to. You must have clear copyright for the photo and provide us with credit information.


The field of robotics is at least 50 years old and has no definitive written history. The Computer Society which represents a technology only slightly older than robotics has an entire journal devoted to its history. The 50 year mark is perhaps the time to rectify this situation. I would like to start an online forum to discuss this with a view to starting either a Technical Committee, a regular magazine column or to initiate a full blown technological history project with a book as its outcome. Please visit http://groups.google.com.au/group/history-of-robotics --Peter Corke, RA Magazine Editor-Elect

7. Looming conference deadlines!

      • IRIS2010:Int'l Symp. on Robotics & Intelligent Sensors. Mar 8-13, 2010 Nagoya Japan. Submission deadline: December 31, 2009. http://ns1.ohka.cs.is.nagoya-u.ac.jp/~iris_admin/
      • ICIA 2010: Int'l Conf. on Information & Automation. Jun 20-24, 2010. Harbin, China. Submissions due February 1, 2010. http://www.icia.org.
      • MED'10: 18th Conf. on Control and Automation. Jun 23-26, 2010. Marrakech, Morocco. Submissions deadline January 15, 2010. http://www.med10.org.
      • RSS:Robotics: Science and Systems. Jun 27-Jul 1, 2010. Zaragoza, Spain. Submission Deadlines: Abstracts: 1/15/2010; Full Papers: 1/22/2010.
      • AIM 2010: IEEE/ASME Int'l Conf. on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics. Jul 6-9, 2010. Montreal, Canada. Submissions Deadline: February 1, 2010.
      • IEEE-CASE 2010: IEEE Conference on Autmation Science & Engineering. Aug 22-24, 2010. Montreal Canada. Submissions deadline February 12, 2010. See the RAS Web Calendar for a list of all RAS sponsored, cosponsored & technically cosponsored conferences. http://www.ieee-ras.org/calendar/list.

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