To foster the entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a platform to encourage researchers and practitioners to transition ideas and prototypes to commercializable products, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's Industrial Activities Board invited the robotics and automation community to participate in an Entrepreneurship Forum and Start-up Competition (EFSC) at the 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'15) held in Hamburg, Germany on 1 October 2015. The event was 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.

After a rigorous review process, 12 finalists were selected to make their final 'pitches' in Hamburg. In an interim Coaching stage, the finalists were paired with an expert to fine-tune their presentation and ideas to present at the Finals, where they made a 5 min. presentation (followed by a 5 min. Q&A session) to a distinguished judging panel of from the industry, and academia. The presentations were judged based on the following seven criteria: business idea, customer benefit, competitive advantage, market analysis, management, traction, and financial concept.

The judges were IEEE and RAS Member Dominik Boesl (Corporate Innovation Manager, KUKA AG, Germany), Francois Boucher (Chief Business Development Officer, Kinova, Canada)IEEE and RAS Member Ryan Gariepy (CTO, Clearpath Robotics, Canada), IEEE and RAS Member Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos (Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Univ. of Minnesota, USA), Slawomir Sander (Bosch Robotics, Germany), IEEE and RAS Member Alin Albu-Schaeffer (Head of the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, DLR, Germany), and IEEE and RAS member Nicola Tomatis (CEO, Bluebotics, Switzerland).

The top 3 finishers of the first IEEE RAS Start-up Competition were:
Start up winner 1
IEEE and RAS Student Member Alvin Chen, from VascuLogic whose business idea was a portable, image-guided medical robot that improves the accuracy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of venipuncture by drawing blood and performing intravenous procedures in an automated fashion. 

Start up second place 1
IEEE and RAS Member Kenji Suzuki,  from PLIMES Ltd. whose business idea was social problem solving by dramatically enhancing Quality of Life of people with lower body paralysis or elderly people through the use of passive exoskeletons with smart mechatronics in personal mobility.

Start up third place 1
Francesco Maria Petrini
and Stanisa Raspopovic from SensArs Neuroprosthetics Sàrl whose business idea was SENSY, a unique device enabling amputees don't have feelings from their prosthesis to feel skin softness or a stone trampled during walking.


The three winners took home US$15,000, US$10,000, and US$5,000, respectively. All finalists were provided travel support of up to US$1250. Financial sponsorship provided by IEEE-RAS, IEEE, and KUKA is gratefully acknowledged.

More information on the Start-up Competition, the 12 finalists and their business ideas are available from


posted 14 October 2015



The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society's second standard, Robot Map Data Representation for Navigation, has been approved by the IEEE Standards Board for publication! RAS was the Sponsor of this standard, P1873 (

This standard defines a common representation for two-dimensional robot map data, including metric and topological maps. It is intended to facilitate interoperability among different navigating robots, extending their operational range and application areas by defining a recommended format for exchanging map data. This standard is expected to overcome the incompatibility among map data formats of the different software tools, easing re-use of existing software and integration of system components coming from different stakeholders.

The Working Group Chairs are Wonpil Yu (ETRI, Korea) and Francesco Amigoni (Politecnico di Milano, Italy). Congratulations to all WG members!


posted 21 September 2015



This year's joint Lunch with Leaders and Young Professionals Luncheon event aims at introducing the RAS Young Reviewer Program (YRP), a new initiative to provide the IEEE RAS students with sound practices in peer reviewing of scientific papers. This event hosts the RAS community's distinguished leaders:

Raja Chatila - RAS President, Fumihito Arai, Allessandro De Luca, Oussama Khatib, Ron Lumia, Kevin Lynch, Tony Maciejewski, Raj Madhavan, Allison Okamura, David Orin, Stefano Stramigioli, Satoshi Tadokoro, Jing Xiao
and three invited speakers
Nancy Amato, Seth Hutchinson, Wolfram Burgard

The Speakers will introduce and openly discuss the most salient challenges in peer reviewing of the scientific papers. Wolfram Burgard will talk on "writing skills" of the scientific papers. Seth Hutchinson will talk about "peer-reviewing" of the scientific papers. The session will be moderated by Nancy Amato, and will be followed by general discussions, offering multiple perspectives from leaders of the RAS about what it takes to be a leader in our profession.

The Luncheon will be held at IROS 2015 in Hamburg, Germany on September 30: Congress Center Hamburg - Hall 6
Advanced registration is required. The cost is $5 per lunch.
Click here to register


 About the Young Reviewer Program (YRP)

The Young Reviewer Program (YRP) aims at introducing Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) students and young professionals to sound practices in peer reviewing of scientific papers. To achieve this objective, student YRP members will be supervised by Senior Reviewers (SR) in regular RAS review procedures. In addition to such a mentor-mentee relationship, YR members will have the opportunity of attending webinars and online tutorials to further explore and improve their writing and reviewing skills. Once a certain level of expertise is achieved, the YR will graduate with an overall qualification grade.

It is important to note here that within the YRP, the timing and the quality of the review to be delivered to the Associate Editors (AE), will be monitored and certified by the SRs. In addition, YRP will apply multiple safeguards to maintain confidentiality in the peer review process.

To join the Young Reviewer Program, please register at

YRP Committee:
Arash Ajoudani (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Tamás Haidegger (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Seth Hutchinson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

posted 16 September 2015



Ballots were mailed and emails with election information were sent on 9 September 2015 to all Higher Grade IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Members and Affiliates (excluding Students) whose memberships were effective prior to 10 August 2015. If you did not receive an email fromThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or a paper ballot by 24 September 2015, but you feel your membership was valid before 10 August 2015, you may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +1 732 562 3904 to check your member status. (Provide your member number, full name, and address.)

vote 2015 1Use to access the ballot and cast your vote now. If you do not remember your password, you may retrieve it on the voter login page.

Voting must be completed no later than 21 October 2015. Any returns received after this date will not be counted. The online voting site will close at 4:00 pm Eastern Time.

If you have any questions about the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society voting process, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1 732-562-3904.

The 11th annual IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2015) was held on 24-28 August 2015, in Gothenburg, Sweden. IEEE CASE represents the flagship automation conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. The conference aims to bring together researchers in automation from both industry and academia, together with industrial practitioners, to present and discuss the latest advances and developments in automation science and engineering.

Congratulations to the following winners of IEEE RAS and CASE Awards:

IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Best Paper Award - Two Recipients this Year!


Ahmed Nazeem, Spyros Reveliotis
"Efficient Enumeration of Minimal Unsafe States in Complex Resource Allocation Systems"
vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 111-124, 2014

Wooram Park, Gregory S. Chirikjian
"An Assembly Automation Approach to Alignment of Noncircular Projections in Electron Microscopy"
vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 668-679, 2014


IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Best New Application Paper Award - Two Recipients this Year!


Hamal Marino, Christos Bergeles, Bradley J. Nelson
"Robust Electromagnetic Control of Microrobots Under Force and Localization Uncertainties"
vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 310-316, 2014

Kevin R. Gue, Kai Furmans, Zäzilia Seibold, Onur Uludag
"GridStore: A Puzzle-Based Storage System With Decentralized Control"
vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 429-438, 2014


Best Conference Paper Award 2

Best Conference Paper Award - Two Recipients this Year!


Cong Zhao, Jingshan Li, Ningjian Huang
"Plant Flexibility Planning: Problem Formulation and Performance Estimation"

Qilong Huang, Qing-Shan Jia, Xiaohong Guan
"Multi-timescale Optimization between Distributed Wind Generators and Electric Vehicles in Microgrid"


Best Application Paper Award 


Saigopal Nelaturi, Gregory Burton, Christian Fritz, Kurtoglu Tolga
"Automatic Spatial Planning for Machining Operations"


Best Student Paper Award


Peng Wang (Student), Xinyao Tang, Robert Gao
"Automated Performance Tracking for Heat Exchangers in HVAC"


posted 31 August 2015



We're excited to announce that the Entrepreneurship Forum & Start-up Competition (EFSC) at IROS'15 will provide travel support for all finalists, and prizes for the top 3 finishers, totaling $45k. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to be mentored and evaluated by a distinguished panel of coaches and judges in a forum where you can fine-tune and pitch your ideas at one of the premier conferences of robotics and automation. We look forward to receiving your application.

1 October 2015
2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'15)

In the last few years, entrepreneurship in robotics and automation has received renewed interest due to several high profile acquisitions (e.g. Amazon's $775 million acquisition of Kiva Systems in early 2012 and Google's acquisition of eight robotics companies in late 2013) among other success stories (e.g. DJI valued at $8 billion as of May 2015). To foster the entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a platform to encourage researchers and practitioners to transition ideas and prototypes to commercializable products, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) is inviting the robotics and automation community to participate in an Entrepreneurship Forum and Start-up Competition (EFSC) at the 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'15) in Hamburg (

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. Previous IEEE RAS events centered on the entrepreneurship topic have been held at IROS'13 (Tokyo) and IROS'14 (Chicago) and served as starting points for discussions on identifying gaps and building bridges between industry, academia, government, and end-users (see and

EFSC at IROS'15 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 critique, and provide 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 venture capitalists, industry, and academic experts who have successfully funded, transitioned and have experience in commercialization of robotics and automation technologies.

Anyone with an idea or a prototype/product utilizing robotics and/or automation technology is welcome to submit an application provided that the entity is 1) less than 2 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'15 in addition to awards for the top 3 finishers (totaling $45k). We gratefully acknowledge the support from IEEE and KUKA.

* Submission of Application Forms: 20 August 2015
* Announcement of Selected Applicants: 1 September 2015
* Final Presentations at IROS'15: 1 October 2015

posted17 August 2015



"For pioneering contributions to design and implementation of distributed, cooperative robotics and automation systems for commercial applications"


2016 Robotics DAndrea photoSpanning academics, business, and the arts, Raffaello D'Andrea's career is built on his ability to bridge theory and practice. He was the faculty advisor and system architect of the Cornell Robot Soccer Team, four-time world champions at the international RoboCup competition. He was one of the first in the controls community to use a multi-vehicle testbed for research. At ETH Zurich, his research redefines what autonomous systems are capable of. He is co-founder of Kiva Systems, a robotics company that revolutionized material handling by deploying thousands of autonomous mobile robots in warehouses. He recently founded Verity Studios, a company developing a new breed of interactive and autonomous flying machines.

Prof. D'Andrea is Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich.

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Award was established in 2002 by the IEEE Board of Directors, and is presented for contributions in the field of robotics and automation. It includes but is not limited to: manufacturing automation; robotics and automation in unstructured environments; sensor design; integration and fusion; robot design; modeling; planning and control; methodologies for robotics and automation, and the quality of the nomination.

Past Recipients can be found HERE

posted 6 August 2015


The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society’s Chapters and International Activities Committee (CIAC) and the Student Activities Committee (SAC) under the Member Activities Board, have developed a new Regional Student Representatives (RSR) initiative.

Regional diversity presents a challenge for RAS to effectively implement universal programs and engage students. In response, the RSR program assigns representatives to serve as ambassadors from the SAC to local student chapters and better facilitate communication between the two groups.

The primary responsibilities for each representative include:

•Initiate regional specific programs and competitions

•Participate in regular SAC and CIAC meetings to represent local student chapters

•Oversee student communication via mailing lists and social media

Additional responsibilities will vary according to region in order to better serve the RAS community at large. RSRs will work closely with SAC and CIAC and student chapters in their regions in order to promote student involvement in IEEE and RAS.

Regional student representatives have been appointed to represent Region(s) 1-7, 8, 9, and 10. They are Thassyo Pinto, Emad Omari, Victor Carranza and Tony K James respectively. Each representative is passionate about the community and excited to help facilitate local involvement. Please visit the formal RSR announcement to learn more about each representative.

This is a new program so we are especially interested in your ideas! To learn more or get involved, please contact your regional representative directly or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for general questions about the program!


Chapters and International Activities Committee

Xiaorui Zhu, Co-Chair

Kenji Suzuki, Co-Chair

Student Activities Committee

Lauren Miller, Chair

Megan Emmons, Co-Chair

Posted on 23 July 2015



IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine is soliciting nominations for two new associate editors to begin in January 2016. 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 the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation and the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. 

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 Rachel O. Warnick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 30 September 2015.

Posted 1 July 2015



Congratulations to the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Members who have been elevated in 2015 to Senior Members, the highest grade for which IEEE members can apply.

Karyn Apfeldorf

Himani Goyal Sharma

Jeffrey Miller

Tatsuo Arai

Keith Green

Hyun Myung

Amarnath Banerjee

Qi Kang

Yasushi Nakauchi

Timothy Barfoot

Ali Karimoddini

Gerasimos Rigatos

Taktok Bezine

Jonghyuk Kim

Jose Santos-Victor

Oliver Brock

Hadas Kress-Gazit

Khaled Shaban

Aidan Browne

Vilas Kumar

Rajat Singh

Jose Casallas

K Kyriakopoulos

Stephen Smith

Jorg Conradt

Bengt Lennartson

Zhiwei Song

Susan Corwin

Hun-Ok Lim

Lydia Tapia

Jian Dai

Dikai Liu

Jocelyne Troccaz

Michael Daily

Zhi-Yong Liu

Hesheng Wang

Amro Farid

Konrad Markowski

Michael Wellfare


Arianna Menciassi

Robert Zlot

Posted 20 July 2015

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