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 (http://iros2015.org/).

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 http://www.iros2013.org/industry-forum.html and http://www.iros2014.org/program/industry-forumhttp://www.iros2014.org/program/industry-forum).

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 http://iros2015.org/images/downloads/EFSC_IROS2015_ApplicationForm.doc.
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

The 2015 IEEE RAS Summer School on Experimental Methodology, Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking in Robotics being held in Benicasim, Spain on 14-18 September is open for registration.  

For more visit: http://ieee-raspebras2015.org/

The IEEE-RAS Technical Committee on Performance Evaluation & Benchmarking of Robotic and Automation Systems (TC PEBRAS) has organized a Summer School as part of the IEEE RAS Technical Education Program. As the complexity of robotic and intelligent systems grows, it is more and more necessary to adhere to sound experimental approaches and benchmarking procedures. It is of fundamental importance that the next generation learns good experimental, performance evaluation and benchmarking methods as part of their technical education.

IEEE graduate students will have a unique training opportunity in these important topics. Students will closely interact for one week with some of the top-level researchers in the world relevant to this domain. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their research work with them.

Aims and scope

Participants will learn how to implement approaches with exhaustive experimental methodology and apply appropriate benchmarking procedures to compare the actual practical results with reference to standard accepted procedures; how experimental results can be replicable and refutable on the one hand, and quantitatively comparable according to community-endorsed metrics, on the other hand. At the end, a student should be able to provide an educated response tob the following questions:
- How research should be performed and reported in order to allow result replications
- How should competitions be designed in order to maximize their contribution to robotics research and the industrial exploitation of results
- To which extent and for measuring which functionalities and capabilities are benchmarks useful and possible
- Which balance of result replication, benchmarking, challenges and competitions would allow a more objective evaluation of results and consequent objective assessment of the state of the art in the various subfields of their domain of research

Posted 15 July 2015



The IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine is issuing a call for papers for a special issue on Soft Robotics and Morphological Computation.  

Soft robotics and morphological computation are two recent exciting trends in robotics that are expected to provide novel approaches and high-impact applications. The use of soft and deformable materials in robotics system is crucial to deal with uncertain task and environments such as locomotion in rough terrains, grasping and manipulation of unknown and unstructured objects. Soft robots can be characterized by elastic and deformable bodies, a large number of degrees of freedom, the use of unconventional functional materials, and the involvement of intrinsic passive dynamics. All of these properties could provide significant advantages to adaptability of robotic systems if they are treated properly. The research field of morphological computation, on the other hand, explores the concepts and theories of computation in physical systems, where we investigate how motion control processes can be distributed over informational and physical dynamics. It has been previously shown that, by properly designing the dynamics, physical systems such as soft robotic grippers can benefit from simplified control architectures and improved overall performances. The special issue of “Soft Robotics and Morphological Computation” in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine (IEEE-RAM) aims to summarize the state of the art of soft robotics and morphological computation research areas, and to provide a venue for the fruitful collaborations between these two research fields. The desired outcome of this special issue is to develop a general consensus about the scientific goals, perspective and challenges of the two research fields, as well as high impact applications.

We invite review/position papers of topics related to soft robotics, morphological computation and the intersection between the two fields.
The topics include but not limited to:
• Artificial skin and stretchable sensors and electronics
• Bio-inspired or biomimetic robots based on passive dynamics and unconventional materials
• Continuum robots, flexible robots, reconfigurable robots
• Functional materials, morphologies, and assembly for adaptive robotic systems
• Modeling and simulation of soft bodied robots and structures
• Natural computation, unconventional computation for adaptive robotic systems
• Physical human-robot interactions based on soft technologies
• Wearable robotics

Deadline for Paper Submission: 10 November 2015 - EXTENDED TO 1 December 2015
Review Completion and Acceptance Notification: 28 February 2016
Final Submission: June 2016
Publication: September 2016

Guest Editors
Fumiya Iida (University of Cambridge), Cecilia Laschi (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna), Dario Floreano (EPFL), Robert Wood (University), Surya Nurzaman (Monash University), Andre Rosendo (University of Cambridge)

Posted 30 June 2015
Edited 2 November 2015



Congratulations to the following ICRA 2015 Award Recipients! Winners were announced and honored during the RAS Awards Luncheon which took place on 28 May 2015 in Seattle, (WA) USA. The complete list of Recipients and Finalists, with photos, is available here.

cover small





Best Associate Editor Award
Eric Diller, University of Toronto, Canada
Paolo Robuffo Giordano, CNRS, Irisa/Inria Rennes, France

Best Reviewer Award
Renaud Detry, Université de Liège, Belgium
Andrej Gams, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
Hedvig Kjellstrom, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Raul Suarez, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain

Best Paper Awards

ICRA Automation Best Paper
Design, Modeling and Control of a Modular Contactless Wafer Handling System
Bassem Dahroug, Guillaume J. Laurent, Valérian Guelpa, Nadine Le Fort-Piat

ICRA Cognitive Robotics Best Paper Award
Grounding Spatial Relations for Outdoor Robot Navigation
Abdeslam Boularias, Felix Duvallet, Jean Oh, Anthony Stentz

ICRA Medical Robotics Best Paper Award
An Ankle-Foot Prosthesis Emulator with Control of Plantarflexion and Inversion-Eversion Torque
Steven H. Collins, Myunghee Kim, Tianjian Chen, Tianyao Chen

ICRA Robot Manipulation Best Paper Award
Learning Contact-Rich Manipulation Skills with Guided Policy Search
Sergey Levine, Nolan Wagener, Pieter Abbeel

ICRA Robot Vision Best Paper Award
Work Smart, Not Hard: Recalling Relevant Experiences for Vast-Scale but Time-Constrained Localisation
Chris Linegar, Winston Churchill, Paul Newman

ICRA Service Robotics Best Paper Award
RoboSherlock: Unstructured Information Processing for Robot Perception
Michael Beetz, Ferenc Balint-Benczedi, Nico Blodow, Daniel Nyga, Thiemo Wiedemeyer, Zoltan-Csaba Marton

ICRA Best Student Paper 
Grasping without Squeezing: Shear Adhesion Gripper with Fibrillar Thin Film
Elliot Wright Hawkes, David Christensen, Amy Kyungwon Han, Hao Jiang, Mark Cutkosky

ICRA Best Conference Paper
Observability, Identifiability and Sensitivity of Vision-Aided Inertial Navigation
Joshua Hernandez, Konstantine Tsotsos, Stefano Soatto


Amazon Picking Challenge
Organizers: Pete Wurman and Joe Romano, Kiva Systems
In recognition of teams that demonstrate the best automated item picking.
1st Place - $20,000
Team RBO, TU Berlin, Oliver Brock
2nd Place - $5,000
Team MIT, MIT, Alberto Rodriquez Garcia
3rd Place - $1,000
Team Grizzly, Dataspeed Inc. & Oakland University, Paul Fleck

Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge
Organizers: Raj Madhavan, Lino Marques, Edson Prestes, Prithviraj Dasgupta
Winner: Team NUS: National Univ.of Singapore, Singapore

Humanoids Application Challenge 
Organizers: Kayla Kim and Jinwook Kim, ROBOTIS CO
In recognition of the team that demonstrates the most creative application of humanoid research.
Winner: Team Snobots, University of Manitoba

Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 1
Autonomous Mobility & Accuracy Challenge
In recognition of the team with the most accurate trajectory traversals
Winner: University of Hawaii, Manoa (Sammy Khamis, Edward Nerad, Leanne King, Caralyn King, Aaron Ohta)

Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 2
Microassembly Challenge
In recognition of assembling the most micro-scale components in a micro channel
Winner: ETH Zurich (Samuel Charreyron, Janis Edelmann, Andrew Petruska, Franziska Ullrich, Chengzhi Hu, Hen-Wei Huang, Qi Zhang, Erdem Siringil, Roel Pieters, Bradley J. Nelson)

Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 3
MMC Showcase & Poster Session
In recognition of the most innovative mobile micro-robotic system
Winner: UVT Romania, University Valahia of Targoviste (Ioan Alexandru Ivan, Florin Dragomir, Valentin Gurgu, Nicolae Radulescu, Mihaela Ivan)


posted 11 June 2015



The IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine is set to publish a special issue on Educational Robotics in June 2016.  Currently, there is a call for papers with a deadline for submission of 15 July 2015. 

The scope of this special issue is to advance knowledge in the field of robotics applied to formal and informal education. The idea of robots as educational tools goes back to the late 60s, when Seymour Papert formulated the theory on learning called “constructionism”, which points out the relevant role played by artefacts in the learning process. Educational robotics broadly refers to the use of robots for educational purposes. There are several ways in which robotics and robots have been employed in educational activities: from object of study to medium that facilitates the transfer of knowledge and even companion, in which the robot performs the role of tutor or peer during the learning process. 

Complete details are available at http://www.ieee-ras.org/publications/ram/ram-special-issues.

Posted 17 April 2015.



At the IEEE Technical Activities Board Meeting Series held in January 2015, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) received approval to launch a new periodical. Under the name, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), the first issue is planned for January 2016.

The scope of this journal is to publish peer-reviewed articles that provide a timely and concise account of innovative research ideas and application results, reporting significant theoretical findings and application case studies in areas of robotics and automation.

The primary goal of RA-L is to better serve the RAS membership and the robotics and automation community at large, which has strongly increased in number and productivity, by providing more capacity for high quality, fully reviewed journal papers. Additional goals of RA-L are to provide a publication process that is complementary to the existing evolutionary process from RAS conferences into journal papers and to improve the efficiency of the peer-review process.

RA-L will publish papers reporting on innovative ideas and unpublished results that need to be rapidly published. To this purpose, RA-L will provide a final decision on manuscripts within six months from submission. Papers will be six pages long, with at most two extra pages allowed at a charge, and will allow open-access for those authors who require it. The review cycle will follow the highest standards of IEEE periodicals. Each paper will be assigned to a Senior Editor, hence to an Associate Editor and at least two independent reviewers. The review process may also include a fast revise-and-resubmit process, upon which the Letters Editorial Board (LEB) will make a final decision. Finally, accepted papers will be electronically archived on IEEE Xplore, and will be available for early access by readers only few days after submission of the final version, while an edited and XML-tagged version for searching and indexing will be available soon after. RA-L is an electronic-only journal.

A unique feature of RA-L is the opportunity for authors to publish a paper in a peer-reviewed journal and present the same paper at the flagship conference of RAS: the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). While submission to RA-L is open throughout the year, indeed, there will be a time window during which authors will have an option for their submission to be also considered for presentation at the following ICRA. This year, the window is between 1 July and 31 August 2015 for ICRA 2016.

Further details on the process to submit to RA-Letters will be available in the coming weeks.

Posted 7 April 2015



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