Minesweepers Competition 2018: Call for Participants
Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World
Outdoor robotic competition on humanitarian demining
2-5 October 2018 in Madrid, Spain
Civilian-purpose demining or humanitarian demining aims at finding and removing abandoned landmines without any hazard to the environment. While classic landmine detection and neutralizing technologies remain almost the same, the landmine technology improved dramatically. The conventional detection methods make the procedure of removing great numbers of landmines very slow, inefficient, dangerous and costly. Robotics systems can provide efficient, reliable, adaptive and cost effective solution for the problem of landmines and the unexploded ordnances (UXOs) contamination.
Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is an outdoor robotic competition that aims at raising the public awareness of the seriousness of the landmines and UXOs contamination and fostering robotics research and its applications in the area of humanitarian demining in the world. In this competition, each participating team constructs a teleoperated/autonomous unmanned ground/aerial vehicle that must be able to search for underground and aboveground anti-personnel landmines and UXOs. The position and the type of each detected object are visualized and overlaid on the minefield map. The robot must be able to navigate through rough terrain that mimics a real minefield.
The 7th edition of Minesweepers competition will take place in conjunction with the 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2018) in the beautiful city of Madrid, Spain.
The ultimate goal of the Minesweepers competition is to put into practice the new strategic mission of IEEE, “…to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity” and to serve as an educational and a research forum to provide efficient, reliable, adaptive and cost-effective solutions for the serious problem of humanitarian demining in many affected countries in the world. The competition also motivates the participants to create new companies and industries geared towards minefield reconnaissance and mapping technologies. Moreover, the applicability of the robotic systems presented in this competition can be extended to a wide range of other applications such as security and surveillance, search and rescue, health monitoring of civil infrastructure, pipeline monitoring, and environment monitoring.
For more information, please visit:
Calling All Members....Town Hall to be held at ICRA 2018
The 2018 RAS Town Hall Program will be held on Thursday, 24 May 2018 from 16:30-17:30 in the
Great Hall Auditorium, at ICRA - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia. We hope to see you there!
Meet IEEE and RAS Leadership
Where are we now, and what are our strategies for future growth and services? How will IEEE Membership, Publications, Conferences and Events, and Technological Advances impact and influence our business?
Hear from IEEE and RAS Leadership as they describe IEEE and RAS in 2018, and where they see the Organization in 2025 and beyond.
Panelists from IEEE
Jim Jefferies, President, IEEE Board of Directors
Mary Ward Callan, IEEE Technical Activities Managing Director
Panelists from RAS
Wolfram Burgard, RAS President
Torsten Kroeger, Vice President of RAS Conference Activities
Zhidong Wang, Vice President of RAS Electronic Products and Services
Yasushi Nakauchi, Vice President of RAS Financial Activities
Dominik Boesl, Vice President of RAS Industrial Activities
Nancy Amato, Vice President of RAS Member Activities
Eugenio Guglielmelli, Vice President of RAS Publication Activities
Lianqing Liu, Vice President of RAS Technical Activities
Panel Discussion, followed by Questions from the Audience
Your suggestions and ideas can help to guide our progress forward!
Questions can be submitted in advance using this form:
RAS Special Member Activities to be held at ICRA 2018. Register NOW!
RAS is pleased to arrange several Networking Events for our Members attending ICRA 2018 in Brisbane, Australia from 21-25 May 2018. Mark your calendars, and register in advance to secure a spot in these highly popular activities.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
Are you a student planning to attend ICRA 2018 in Brisbane, Australia? Join the IEEE RAS Student Activities Committee for a fun scavenger hunt! Teams of 2-3 students will be emailed a super top secret list of objectives on the morning of 21 May. Throughout the conference, teams will then take pictures demonstrating they achieved each objective - ranging from shaking hands with RAS leadership, visiting local sights near the conference venue, to doing funny poses. Awards will be presented to teams which found the most items and teams with the most creative photos!
Who: Students attending ICRA 2018
What: A fun picture scavenger hunt
When: 21-25 May 2018
Where: ICRA in Brisbane
Why: Because everyone needs a little fun!
If you already know a few other students attending, you can form a Team and register as a group. If not, please register yourself, and we will team you up with other enthusiastic roboticists. See you in Brisbane!
Register here: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/0cb766c0756a4684a0b03d719e45f32e
RAS Women In Engineering (WIE) Luncheon
Tuesday, 22 May 2018 from 12:30-14:00
Room P9, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia
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.
Space is limited, so please register in advance!
NETWORKING RECEPTION: Meet the RAS Technical Committees
Tuesday, 22 May 2018 from 17:00-18:30
Room TBD, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia
This event is open to attendees in the early stages of their career — young professionals and researchers. Chairs and Co-Chairs of the RAS Technical Committees will be available for informal conversation centered on new technologies in robotics and automation, future growth in the field, and how to get involved and contribute to RAS Technical Committee work.
Refreshments will be served! Come enjoy a snack and beverage, and meet some new colleagues!
Space is limited, so please register for this FREE networking event on-line:
RAS LUNCH WITH LEADERS (LwL)—for Students
Wednesday, 23 May 2018 from 12:30-14:00
Room P9, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
This luncheon is open to student and young professional attendees offering the chance to meet and interact with Leaders from RAS and industry. Informal discussion over lunch will take place round table style. Join us for career advice, insights into where the field is headed, or general conversation to get to know Leaders in the field of robotics and automation.
Confirmed RAS Leaders include: Wolfram Burgard, Torsten Kroeger, Venkat Krovi, Yasushi Nakauchi, Zhidong Wang, Vijay Kumar, Tony Maciejewski, Satoshi Takodoro, Seth Hutchinson, Raja Chatila, Nancy Amato, Peter Corke, Hong Zhang, Jaydev P. Desai, Jing Xiao….
Space is limited, so please register in advance!
Welcome to 9 New IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Chapters
Congratulations and welcome to the following newly organized IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Section and Student Branch Chapters.
- University of Alicante Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Spain Section
- National School of Electronics and Telecommunications (ENET'Com) Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Tunisia Section
United Arab Emirates
- United Arab Emirates Section Jt. Chapter, EMB18/CS23/RA24
- Bolivian Catholic University - Cochabamba Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Bolivia Section
- University Francisco Jose de Calda - Bolivar Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Colombia Section
- National University of Engineering Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Nicaragua Section
- University of Dhaka Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Bangladesh Section
- Kongunadu College of Engineering and Technology Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Madras Section
- University of South Asia Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Lahore Section
RAS Member Lynne Parker particpates in Panel at SXSW
A Roboticist, Ethicist and Novelist Walk Into a Bar: IEEE TechEthics Panel at SXSW
About the Talk: How do we separate science fact from science fiction? What is the reality of where we truly are with robotics and AI capabilities? How do media portrayals shape our opinions on technology? And how are the ethical and societal implications of technology considered in each realm? In this panel discussion, a roboticist, an ethicist, and a graphic novelist discuss their roles in the messaging around technological advancements. Part of the IEEE Tech for Humanity Series at SXSW 2018.
STEPHEN CASS - Editor, IEEE Spectrum
RYAN JENKINS - Philosophist, Cal Poly
LYNNE PARKER - Robotist, The University of Tennessee
ROBERT VENDITTI - Author
View the recorded session here: https://ieeetv.ieee.org/technology/a-roboticist-ethicist-and-novelist-walk-into-a-bar-ieee-techethics-panel?rf=channels%7C100&
IEEE RA-Letters special issue: Call for Papers
Intelligent Human-Robot Interaction for Rehabilitation and Physical Assistance
A Special Issue proposal by
S. F. Atashzar, M. Tavakoli, M. Shahbazi, and R. V. Patel
This special issue will aim to report recent developments in enhancing human-robot interaction in advanced intelligent robotic/telerobotic systems for motor rehabilitation and assistance. We aim to focus particularly on issues related to physical interaction between patients and robotic/mechatronic systems developed to deliver Neuro-Rehabilitation and Assistive (NRA) services. The special issue will cover a broad range of related subjects including but not limited to safety, control, modeling, signal processing, smart autonomy and instrumentation for advanced human-robot interaction in rehabilitation and assistive systems. Specific topics of interest are listed below:
- Physical human-robot interaction for rehabilitation and assistance
- Human-robot collaboration for rehabilitation and assistance
- Control of human-centered robotic systems for rehabilitation and assistance
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence in robotic systems for rehabilitation and assistance
- Autonomy in robotic systems for rehabilitation and assistance
- In-home/remote robotic rehabilitation and assistance
The incidence rate of age-related neuromuscular disorders is rapidly increasing worldwide due to an aging society. While better medical care has increased survival rates, it has resulted in even more patients in need of NRA services. This has placed a significant burden on the healthcare systems worldwide and has challenged the quality of NRA services delivered to patients. The situation is particularly difficult for patients in remote areas.
A potential solution is to develop smart robotic and telerobotic technologies that provide safe and effective means of in-hospital and in-home NRA services. In this regard, robotic rehabilitation and assistance systems have been developed and have attracted a great deal of interest. Although there are advantages with the use of these technologies, there still exist several technical, technological and control challenges among which are (a) questionable compatibility with the sensorimotor needs of patients, (b) high cost, and (c) conservative assurances of patient-robot interaction safety. These issues are of particular concern when the robot is to be used in a patient’s home or in remote areas under minimal monitoring.
The special issue includes transdisciplinary research in engineering and applied sciences (e.g., human-robot interaction, nonlinear control, machine intelligence, instrumentation, compliant robots, bio-signal processing) and medical sciences (e.g., neurosciences, rehabilitation sciences, human-motor control and motor learning). The transdisciplinary nature of the work and the specific focus of the topic call for a focused and in-depth special issue that reports the latest progress in addressing the existing challenges and possible future lines of research. The focus of this transdisciplinary special issue is at the intersections of topics that regularly are the topic of conference workshops and journal special issues (e.g., haptics, telerobotics, human-robot interaction, rehabilitation robotics, and assistive technologies).
Special Issue Call Publication: 15 April 2018
Special Issue Submission Opens: 1 May 2018
Special Issue Submission Closes: 15 July 2018
First Decision Communicated to Authors: 15 October 2018
Final Decision Communicated to Authors: 15 December 2018
Accepted RAL Papers appear on IEEE Xplore: 15 February 2019 (tentative)
IEEE TechEthics Conversations Series features RAS VP Dominik Boesl
Ethical Considerations 200 Years After Frankenstein
Live Broadcast: Tuesday, 1 May 2018
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT (GMT-4)
Two centuries after the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, society continues to explore the ethical implications of technological advancements. This panel brings together voices from technology, ethics, and history to discuss questions about how ethical considerations have evolved in the last two centuries.
How have technologists and others addressed the issues presented in this classic novel? To what extent are the issues raised in the book still present and relevant in today's technology space? What new issues have surfaced with the advent of new technologies?
Peter Asaro | Associate Professor of Media Studies, The New School
Dominik Boesl | Vice President of Consumer Driven Robotics, KUKA Robotics
Jean Kumagai | Senior Editor, IEEE Spectrum
Lisa Nocks | Historian, IEEE History Center
Mark A. Vasquez | IEEE TechEthics Program Manager
Robot Launch Startup Competition to be held at ICRA 2018
Do you have a startup idea, a prototype or a seed stage startup in robotics, sensors or AI?
Submit your entries by 15 May 2018, if you want to be selected to pitch on the main stage of ICRA 2018 on 22 May in Brisbane Australia for a chance to win $3000 AUD prize from QUT bluebox!
The top 10 startups will pitch live on stage to a panel of investors and mentors including:
* Martin Duursma, Main Sequence Ventures
* Chris Moehle, The Robotics Hub Fund
* Yotam Rosenbaum, QUT bluebox
* Roland Siegwart, ETH Zurich
Entries are also in the running for a place in the QUT bluebox accelerator*, the Silicon Valley Robotics Accelerator*, mentorship from all the VC judges and potential investment of up to $250,000 from The Robotics Hub Fund*. (*conditions apply - details on application)
Pre Seed category consists of an idea and proof of concept or prototype - customer validation is also desirable.
Seed category consists of a startup younger than 24 months, with less than $250k previous investment.
Post Seed category consists of a startup younger than 36 months, with less than $2.5m previous investment.
CAN'T MAKE IT TO AUSTRALIA?
No problems, mate! We'll be continuing the Robot Launch competition with additional rounds in the US and in Europe through out the summer. Go ahead and enter now anyway!Enter the Robot Launch Startup Competition at ICRA 2018 here: https://airtable.com/shrqFZUaPXUPF5gAO
FOR YOUR GUIDE ON GOOD PITCH DOCUMENTS
A sample Investor One Pager can be seen here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gzvxxv3yw2nc0p0/1
And your pitch should cover the content described in Nathan Gold's 13 slide format at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/536fd655e4b0a44be2fb1f44/t/539f20b7e4b037955eafb8d0/1402937527757/13slides.pdf
Andra Keay, Silicon Valley Robotics, USA
Ivan J Storr, Blue Ocean Robotics, Australia
Roland Siegwart, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Seth Hutchinson, RAS AdCom Member, to participate in Robotics Caucus
Next Generation Robotics and the Future of Work
Hosted by the Robotics Caucus Advisory Committee
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
2253 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC, USA
A new generation of robotics technologies are entering the U.S. economy. From shop floors to warehouses, robots are becoming common across a myriad of sectors—from transportation to retail, to hospitals, banks, and other services. Unlike earlier periods of automation, these autonomous systems technologies are increasingly designed to augment and collaborate with human workers. Studies of the manufacturing sector even indicate that as collaborative robotics are deployed in manufacturing environments, the number of new jobs increases as greater levels of robots are deployed. While the creation of new jobs is promising, it is also clear that new robotics technologies will have significant impact on the fundamental nature of work performed and that we must rise to meet the challenges.
The international race to lead the robotics revolution won’t be won in research labs alone, but will depend on effective workforce development programs and strategies. This briefing brings together robotics industry, labor, workforce, technology research and public policy leaders to discuss what steps should be taken to ensure that the next generation robotics also means broader economic opportunity nation-wide.
Please join us for this important discussion.
Robotics Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressman Mike Doyle and Congressman Rob Woodall
Dr. Ramayya Krishnan, Dean, Heinz College of Information Management and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University. The Heinz College is home to the Block Center for Technology and Society.
Mark Lewandowski, Procter & Gamble
Jeff Burnstein, President, Robotic Industries Association
Jim H. Key, Vice President, USW Local Union 550, Paducah, KY and President of USW Atomic Energy Workers Council, United Steelworkers
Ritch Ramey, CEO, Ramtec Ohio, a Career Technical Education training (CTE) collaboration of 23 schools that are placing secondary and post-secondary program completers into highly skilled careers in robotics and automation fields.
Seth Hutchinson, Professor, KUKA Chair for Robotics, Georgia Tech Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Q&A and closing remarks by Moderator
National Science Foundation video on Vine Robotics features IEEE and RAS Fellow
The National Science Foundation video focuses on the research of computer scientist and roboticist Allison Okamura of Stanford University. Allison is an IEEE Fellow and holds multiple roles in the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society.
Details of this work: With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Allison Okamura and her collaborators at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, are building soft robots inspired by vines. Collaborators on this research include Elliot Hawkes of University of California, Santa Barbara, and Sean Follmer and Jonathan Fan of Stanford University.
The form and nature of vines are ideal for threading through narrow spaces, whether those spaces are within the human body or at a disaster site. Imagine a vine robot becoming a water hose that grows to a fire or an oxygen tube that grows to a trapped disaster victim. The team is also engineering vine robots with the ability to configure themselves into three-dimensional structures, such as manipulators and antennae for communication.
Vine robots are one type of soft robot, an emerging area of robotics engineering. Soft robots incorporate versatility, adaptability, and pliability to function more like natural organisms, and to allow humans and soft robots to work safely together.
The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1637446, National Robotics Initiative (NRI): Vine Robots: Achieving Locomotion and Construction by Growth.