IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

RAS E-News December 2007

Volume 5, Number 11


Welcome to RASeNews, the IEEE RAS email newsletter. RASeNews is limited to short announcements of RAS Conferences, RAS society 'action items', breaking news, and time-sensitive issues. Send comments, queries and news items to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

1. 2008 Class of IEEE Fellows

We are pleased to announce that 14 RAS members have been elected to the grade of Fellow as a mark of their distinguished achievements. Eleven of the RAS Fellows were evaluated by the Society. They are:
  • Max Meng, Chinese University of Hong Kong: for contributions to medical robotics
  • Zexiang Li, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: for contributions to robotic manipulation, nonholonomic motion planning and workpiece utilization
  • Tianyou Chai, Northeastern University, China: for contributions to adapt intelligent decoupling control, and integrated automation of complex industrial processes
  • Fan-Tien Cheng, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan: for contributions to semiconductor manufacturing automation and force optimization in multiple-chain robotic mechanisms
  • Narahari Yadati, Indian Institute of Science: for contributions to the design of manufacturing systems, supply chain networks, and electronic markets
  • Alexander Zelinsky, Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia: for contributions to vision-based robotics
  • Peter Corke, Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia: for contributions to visual-based robot control and its applications to field robotics
  • Roy Featherstone, Australian National University: for contributions to multibody dynamics
  • Steven Holland, General Motors Research and Development: for leadership in the industrial application of robotic technology
  • Vincent Hayward, McGill University: for contributions to robot manipulator programming and the development of haptics interface technology
  • Roland Siegwart, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich): for contributions to mobile, networked, and micro-scale robots
Three other RAS-IEEE Fellows were evaluated by other societies (in parentheses):
  • Dragan Nesic, University of Melbourne: for contributions to the analysis and control of networked nonlinear sampled-data systems (Control Systems)
  • Karen Panetta, Tufts University: for leadership in engineering education and curriculum development to attract, retain, and advance women in engineering (Education Society)
  • Ju-Jang Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology: for contributions to intelligent robust control and robotics (Industrial Electronics)

2. RAS Society Awards Nominations Due March 1

The Robotics and Automation Society presents a number of awards each year to recognize outstanding members for their professional accomplishments and service to the society and profession. Nominations are solicited from the membership for the following awards:
  • RAS Pioneer Award
  • RAS Early Career Award
  • IEEE-RAS Distinguished Service Award
  • IEEE InabaTechnical Award for Innovation Leading to Production
  • IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation
The criteria for the different awards vary. A complete description and a list of previous recipients is provided on the RAS webpage . Please send nominations to the Society Administrator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . These awards will be presented at an Awards Ceremony held during the 2008 International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

IEEE/IFR Invention and Entrepreneurship Award Applications are also solicited for the IEEE/IFR Invention and Entrepreneurship Award. This award will be presented in conjunction with the IEEE/IFR Industry Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation which will be held in Munich Germany in June 2008, colocated with Automatika. Contact Rainer Bischoff (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) for information.

3. RAS AdCom Election: Voting Ends Dec 21

Robotics and Automation Society Members have less than 3 weeks to vote for the 2008 new AdCom members. All ballots, paper or electronic must be received at the IEEE by 12 Noon, Eastern Standard Time December 21, 2007.

All RAS Voting Members (Graduate Students and higher grades) should have received ballots for the RAS AdCom Election.

If you have not received either a paper ballot or an email ballot, please e-mail the vendor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) with your name, member number and address to request a replacement ballot.

Members may vote for up to six of the following candidates:

  • David Orin
  • N. Papanikolopoulos
  • Lynne Parker
  • Wes Snyder
  • Alessandro DeLuca
  • Stefano Stramigioli
  • Peter Corke
  • Li-chen Fu
  • Sukhan Lee
  • Shigeki Sugano
  • Satoshi Tadokoro
  • Michael Wang

Information about the candidates is included with the election information.

4. Richard Volz Elected IEEE Division X Director-Elect

RAS President Richard Volz has been elected Director-Elect for Division X by the members of the division. He will serve as Director-Elect in 2009 and in 2010 he will succeed William A. Gruver as Division X Director.

The Director of Division X, along with the Directors of the other nine IEEE Technical Divisions, the directors of the ten IEEE geographic regions, the chairs of the major IEEE boards, and the IEEE officers, constitute the Board of Directors, the governing body of the IEEE. The Directors also work to facilitate communication and cooperation among the societies and regions in their Divisions.

Volz has been an active member of the IEEE for more than 40 years, and was not only a founding member of the RAS, but was one of the founders of the IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation and the Robotics and Automation Council . During his term as RAS President, he has also served as a member of the IEEE-TAB Finance and Conference Committees and as a member of the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) Strategic Planning Committee, and the IEEE Careers Committee.

5. Kazuhiro Kosuge Elected RAS President Elect 2008-9

At their November 3 meeting in San Diego, the Robotics and Automation Society AdCom elected Kazuhiro Kosuge of Tohoku University, Sendai Japan, as President-Elect. He will serve in 2008-9 as President-Elect and in 2010 he will succeed Bruno Siciliano to become RAS President.

Kosuge has served the Society in many capacities, including several terms on the RAS AdCom, Vice President for Membership, Conference Board Meetings Chair, Program Co-chair for IROS 1998 and ICRA 2007, General Chair for IROS2004. He will be general chair for ICRA 2009.

His research at the Systems Robotics Laboratory at Tohoku University is in the area of Robotics Systems and Control Problems. The Laboratory's 'Dance Partner Robot' was featured in Time Magazine as one of the '100 Best inventions of 2005.'

6. Ed Colgate named first IEEE T-Haptics EIC

Professor J. Edward Colgate of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, USA was just named to be the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the new IEEE Transactions on Haptics . Prof. Colgate has worked extensively in the areas of haptic interface and telemanipulation. He is known for his work on passivity and collaborative robots (cobots), and has recently developed a strong interest in variable friction haptic displays.

Paper submission will be done through Manuscript Central. See for submissions information. The first issue is scheduled for late 2008. The IEEE Transactions on Haptics is jointly sponsored by the Robotics and Automation Society, the IEEE Computer Society and the Consumer Electronics Society.

7. Scientific Workflow Management and Applications

Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Call for Papers

Scientific workflow is a new special type of workflow that often underlies many large-scale complex e-science applications such as climate modeling, structural biology and chemistry, medical surgery or disaster recovery simulation. Compared with business workflows, scientific workflow has special features such as computation, data or transaction intensity, less human interaction, and a large number of activities. Some emerging computing infrastructures such as grid computing with powerful computing and resource sharing capabilities present the potential for accommodating those special features.

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2008

For details see:

8. Revised JCR Data Bring T-RO Back to the Top

The IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO) is still the top ranking journal in the Robotics category in the latest 2006 Journal Citation Reports (JCR) with an impact factor of 1.763, the highest in this category.

The impact factor of a journal is a calculated figure indicating the average number of times articles published in that journal in the previous two years are cited by any publication in the current year, 2006 in this case. Collecting these data (for nearly 6,200 highly cited titles in a wide variety of disciplines) requires some time: this is why the JCR edition of a specific year is published by mid-June of the following year.

When the 2006 JCR was published in June 2007, T-RO appeared to have slipped to 3rd place in impact factor in the Robotics category. Editor-in-Chief Alessandro De Luca, with the help of T-RO Associate Editor Juan Tardos, carefully analyzed the data and concluded that a number of 2006 citations to T-RO were missing. This information was conveyed to the JCR publisher, Thomson Scientific.

After doing its own analysis, the publisher concurred and confirmed that the error identified by De Luca and Tardos was the specific cause for the lower - and erroneous - 2006 citation count for T-RO. Thomson usually revises erroneous data in the fall. Correct data for T-RO appear in the reissued version of the 2006 JCR that became available in late October 2007.

The IEEE Transactions on Robotics and the preceding journal, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, have been ranked number 1 in the Robotics category for several years and specifically for the 5 year period 2002 - 2006. The IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine ranks 6th in the 2006 JCR for this category, which includes a total of 12 journals.

Beside being the leading journal in impact factor, T-RO is now also number 1 for the immediacy index in Robotics (0.208, almost doubled with respect to the previous year). This index is the average number of times articles published in a specific journal are cited over the course of the same year ---an indicator of how a journal is publishing in emerging areas of research.

Many university tenure and promotion committees consider the impact factor and other citation indices of publications when they evaluate the quality of journals where faculty members publish their work.

The 2007 edition of the Journal Citation Reports will be published in June 2008.