IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

Surgical Robotics Education Modules Now Available!

An extremely successful RAS Technical Education Program was held in July 2014 on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, PA USA. International Leaders in the field of Surgical Robotics presented eager students with lectures, hands-on laboratory experience, introduction to novel technologies and emerging themes. 

In efforts to increase the reach of this distinguished group of Educators on such an important topic, presentations were captured and are now available to audiences worldwide! 

Please visit the following for additional information:
Individual Speakers and Presentations
Event Showcase

Are we on the right track with providing this type of Educational content? We'd love to hear from you!
Please send comments or suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

posted 27 January 2015



RAS Organizing Program at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is being held 14-18 March 2015 in Sendai City, Japan. The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society is co-organizing the Public Forum on Social Implementation of Disaster Robotics.

This symposium introduces the current state of disaster robots and the gap to their social implementation by the world top-runners, and discusses the action plans to be taken for the future disaster mitigation.

Robotics is becoming a powerful tool for disaster mitigation, response and recovery after its history of 50 years. For example, unmanned aerial vehicles can quickly survey wide disaster areas, remotely-operated underwater vehicles can repair leakage of subsea oil plants, and unmanned ground vehicles work in contaminated areas of damaged nuclear power plants.

The contribution of robotics is mainly 1) for performing tasks that human and conventional tools cannot (e.g. those at inaccessible places and in contaminated areas), 2) for reducing risks (e.g. those of potential explosion, toxic agents and radiation), and/or 3) for reducing time and cost (e.g. quick surveillance of potentially damaged facilities at high places without scaffolds). 

The recent evolution of robotics and component technologies is rapidly enhancing their applicable areas and tasks. Remote robotic systems, for example, could gather information from sky 20 years ago. At present, they can approach to structures of interest in the neighborhood for detailed visual inspection from sky, and can enter damaged buildings through narrow entrance for searching victims. Autonomy and robot intelligence reduce responders' load, and integrate gathered information with measured 3D maps. For this reason, specialists predict that robotics would become an essential tool of disaster mitigation, response and recovery in ten years.

For complete details visit the link here or under the Education, Outreach, Career & Video tab from the RAS home page.

Posted 26 January 2015 



2015 RAS AdCom Class Announced

Congratulations to the six RAS members elected by the membership to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2015. We wish the newly elected members of the Administrative Committee success and thank all candidates for their willingness to serve and for permitting their names to be included on the ballot.

AdCom Members Elected at Large:


Wolfram Burgard
University of Freiburg, Germany



Yasushi Nakauchi
University of Tsukuba, Japan


AdCom Members from RAS Geographic Area 1 (the Americas):


Lydia Kavraki
Rice University, (TX) USA



Richard Vaughan
Simon Fraser University, Canada


AdCom Member from RAS Geographical Area 2 (Europe, Africa, Middle East--IEEE Region 8):


Danica Kragic
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden


AdCom Member from RAS Geographical Area 3 (Asia, Australia, Pacific Rim):


Zhi Dong Wang
Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan


 posted 19 December 2014



IEEE Fellow Class of 2016 - Call For Nominations

IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members. The honor is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.

If you know of an IEEE colleague who is a Senior Member or Life Senior Member in good standing, has completed five years of service in any grade of IEEE Membership and who has made an outstanding contribution to the electronic or electrical engineering profession, you can nominate this person in one of four categories: Application Engineer/Practitioner, Educator, Research Engineer/Scientist or Technical Leader.

Nominations for the Fellow Class of 2016 are now being accepted. To learn more about the Fellow program and the application process, visit the About the IEEE Fellow Program page. The deadline is 1 March 2015.

Additional information about the IEEE Fellow program, and a list of RAS Fellows is available HERE.

posted 26 January 2015



2015 IEEE RAS Fellow Class Announced

Congratulations to the following RAS Members - elevated to Fellow grade, effective 1 January 2015!


2015 RAS Fellows evaluated by the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society:


Wolfram Burgard
University of Freiburg, Germany
"for contributions to mobile robot navigation and simultaneous localization and mapping"

Howie Choset
Carnegie Mellon University (PA), USA
"for contributions to the design, control and planning of highly-articulated robots"

Henrik Christensen
Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), USA
"for contributions to estimation methods for robot localization and mapping"

Dieter Fox
University of Washington (WA), USA
"for contributions to Bayesian state estimation and robotic perception"

Sylvain Martel
Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (QC), Canada
"for contributions to medical micro- and nano-robotics"

Jean-Pierre Merlet
Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA), France
"for contributions to parallel robots"

Paul Newman
University of Oxford, United Kingdom
"for contributions to robot navigation"

Moshe Shoham
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
"for contributions to robot manipulators and miniature medical robots"

Stefano Stramigioli
University of Twente, The Netherlands
"for contributions to modeling, control and realization of complex robotics systems"

Yu Sun
University of Toronto, (ON), Canada
"for contributions to automated manipulation of biological cells"

Dong Sun
City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
"for contributions to robot-aided manipulation of biological cells"

Xiaolan Xie
Ecole Nationale Superieure, France
"for contributions to systems engineering for healthcare and manufacturing"


2015 RAS Fellows evaluated by other IEEE Societies:


Evaluated by the IEEE Computer Society:
Dan Halperin
Tel Aviv University, Israel
"for contributions to robust geometric algorithms for robotics and automation"

Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Randal Beard
Brigham Young University (UT), USA
"for contributions to the theory and practice of guidance, control, and team coordination of unmanned aerial vehicles"

Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Spiridon Reveliotis
Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), USA
"for contributions to discrete event systems for resource allocation"

Evaluated by the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society:
Kiyoshi Ohishi
Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan
"for contributions to development of fast and robust motion control systems"

Evaluated by the IEEE Sensors Council:
Weileun Fang

National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
"for contributions to measurement methods and process technologies for micro-electro-mechanical systems"

Evaluated by the IEEE Signal Processing Society:
Robert Safranek
Benevue, Inc. (NJ), USA
"for contributions to perceptual image and video compression and quality"

posted 26 November 2014



Congratulations to the 2015 RAS Award Recipients!

The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society recognizes the following individuals for their outstanding accomplishments and service to RAS and the robotics and automation community. They will be honored during an award luncheon to be held at ICRA 2015, on 28 May at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, WA, USA. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding recipients!

RAS Pioneer Award
Daniel E. Whitney - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MA) USA
"For his fundamental pioneering contributions to robotic assembly and its integration into product development"

RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation
Bruno Siciliano - University of Naples Federico II, Italy
"For his outstanding leadership in the robotics and automation community as a research innovator, an inspired educator, a dedicated contributor of professional service, an ambassador of science and technology"

IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award
Ren Luo - National Taiwan University, Taiwan
"In recognition of his outstanding leadership and distinguished contributions to RAS on administrative committees, publications, and conferences"
Lynne E. Parker - University of Tennessee, (TN) USA
"For her work as Editor-in-Chief of RAS Conference Editorial Board, her service on many RAS committees, and her contributions to RAS conferences"

RAS Early Career Award (Academic)
Sami Haddadin - Leibniz University of Hanover, Germany
"For fundamental contributions to robot safety, physical Human-Robot Interaction, and soft-robotics control"
Robert J. Webster III - Vanderbilt University, (TN) USA
"For innovations in the design, modeling, and control of flexible minimally invasive surgical robots"

RAS Early Career Award (Industry/Government)
Leila Takayama - Google[x], (CA) USA
"For bringing empirical social science research into the development of personal and telepresence robotics"

IEEE Inaba Technical Award for Innovation Leading to Production
Hermano Igo Krebs - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MA) USA
"For contributions to medical technology innovation and translation into commercial applications for Rehabilitation Robotics"

IEEE Robotics and Automation Award for Product Innovation
HandInScan Ltd. 
"In recognition of "Hand-in-Scan" which allows objective evaluation of hand hygiene"

RAS Most Active Technical Committee Award
Technical Committee on Haptics
Chairs: Antonio Frisoli, William Provancher, Jee-Hwan Ryu

RAS Chapter of the Year Award
IEEE RAS Egypt Chapter
Chair: Alaa Khamis

posted 20 January 2015



Call for Papers RAM Special Issue: Bioinspired Motor Control for Articulated Robots

Special Issue on Bioinspired Motor Control for Articulated Robots

Deadline for Paper Submission: 15 March 2015

Publication Schedule: December 2015

IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine seeks articles for a Special Issue on Bioinspired Motor Control of Articulated Robots. The use of bioinspired solutions for controlling articulated robots is considerably increasing. Particularly, the idea of generating movements out of the combination of a subset of basic primitives is very promising for simplifying both learning and control of complex movements in articulated robots.

The scientific challenges related to the use of bioinspired approaches, and specifically motor primitives, for controlling articulated robots can be grouped in the following main topics: learning and adaptivity, smooth rejection of disturbances and stabilization, coordination of multiple (redundant) joints, computational complexity and modularity, and optimality principles for motor planning and execution.


The scope of this special issue encompasses articles that address one or more of the aforementioned challenges related to the use of Bioinspired Motor Control of Articulated Robots. Application scenarios include (but are not limited to):

• Humanoid robotics,
• Bipedal walking robots,
• Multi-legged robots,
• Animaloids,
• Swimming robots,
• Prosthetics,
• Exoskeletons and active orthoses for motion assistance and rehabilitation.

Theoretical work will be considered provided that there is a clear focus on possible applications and long-term impact on robotics and automation. Articles shall provide clear evidence of the advantages of the proposed bioinspired control solutions with respect to state-of-the-art approaches.

Call for papers: November 2014

Deadline for paper submission: 15 March 2015

First review: August 2015

Final review: September 2015

Publication: December 2015

Guest Editors:

Nicola Vitiello, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Italy), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Auke Ijspeert
, Biorobotics Laboratory at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - EPFL (Switzerland), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Stefan Schaal, Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California (USA), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Call for Nominations! IEEE Robotics & Automation Technical Field Award

IEEE R&A Technical Field Award
Nominations Due 31 January 2015!

Nominations are due 31 January 2015 for the 2016 IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation. This is the most prestigious award presented by the IEEE in the field of robotics and automation and includes a medal and a $US 10,000 honorarium. IEEE TFAs are awarded for contributions or leadership in a specific field of interest of the IEEE and are among the highest awards presented on behalf of the IEEE Board of Directors.

Visit for a description of the award criteria and instructions on submitting a nomination.

The 2015 IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation will be presented to Rodney Allen Brooks of Rethink Robotics for "For pioneering contributions to and leadership in research and commercialization of autonomous robotics, spanning mobile, humanoid, service, and manufacturing robotics." The presentation will take place at the Award Ceremony on 28 May during ICRA 2015 in Seattle, WA USA.

posted 15 January 2015



Vote Now! Deadline is 20 November 2014.

RAS members are voting to elect six new members of the RAS Administrative Committee to serve 3-year terms beginning 1 January 2015. All RAS members (Graduate Student Members and above) have received voting instructions, the biographies, and statements of the candidates by email. RAS membership must be active as of 1 September 2014 to be eligible to vote. Members who do not have valid emails registered with the IEEE or have opted not to receive e-mail from IEEE, have received their election materials by post.

2014 Vote button

Click here to review the candidates' bios and position statements.

posted 12 November 2014



Bill Hamel, RAS AdCom Member, announced as recipient of the ANS Ray Goertz Award

Congratulations to Dr. William R. Hamel for receiving the 2014 Ray Goertz Award on June 16, 2014 at the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Annual Meeting in Reno, NV, USA.

The Ray Goertz Award was established in 1985 to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of remote technology in hazardous environments. It honors the late Raymond C. Goertz for his lifetime contribution to the advancement of remote handling systems and for his development of the master-slave manipulator. Starting with the planning of the first formal informational exchange meeting held in 1951, Ray Goertz was also instrumental in the founding of the Robotics and Remote Systems Division (RRSD), formerly known as Remote Systems Technology Division (RSTD). This award is presented approximately every two years, it is an ANS level award, and it is the highest honor presented by the Robotics and Remote Systems Division.

Hamel stated, "The Ray Geortz Award is the highest recognition one can receive from the nuclear community regarding technical contributions to robotics and remote technology. I am deeply humbled and appreciative to receive the award. Over the years, I have admired the contributions and accomplishments of those who have previously received the award. To now be on that list is an unexpected and cherished career accomplishment for me. I am very thankful to have been considered worthy of such a distinguished honor."

This outstanding award was given to Hamel because of his commendable contributions in the area of robotics and remote systems for nuclear environments while at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee, spanning from the 1970s until now. His primary contributions include technical and visionary leadership in the creation of the first microprocessor-based servomanipulator system, the jointly developed Central Research Laboratories (CRL)/ORNL M-2 dual arm force reflecting manipulator system. All servomanipulator systems have since been influenced by that early design. Hamel continued to advance the field of robotics and remote systems by leading the development of the advanced servomanipulator system, a remotely maintainable dual arm system with an architecture amenable to rad hardening designed to support spent fuel reprocessing. He then furthered his professional experience by co-leading, with program managers at various national laboratories, the Robotics Technology Development Program (RTDP) for the Department of Energy (DOE), which is one of the largest U.S. robotics-related research programs ever established. The RTDP was active throughout the 1990s in generating technology solutions for cleanup of DOE sites. Hamel was also instrumental in early experiments in telerobotics, and has consistently contributed technical papers to RRSD conferences since ANS's first topicals in the early 1980s.

posted 7 January 2015



IEEE RAS Summer School on Agricultural Robotics

Call for Participation

2-6 February 2015
Sydney, Australia

Applications due: 1 December 2014
General enquiries:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The IEEE RAS Summer School on Agricultural Robotics (SSAR 2015) is a new summer school to be held at The University of Sydney, Australia over five days during the southern hemisphere summer, from 2-6 February 2015. SSAR 2015 is supported in part by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and The University of Sydney.

Agricultural robotics is an area of growing interest with the potential to bring about profound economic and social benefits. The School aims to promote robotics research that will enable safe, efficient, and economical production in agriculture and horticulture. The School will consist of presentations by world experts covering a broad range of topics in agricultural robotics, hands-on activities that encourage deep learning, and collaboration activities including a student poster session as well as several social events. Attendance is open to graduate students, postdocs, academics, and industry practitioners.

The main technical objective of the School is to cover the motivation driving research in agricultural robotics, existing projects and results, and open research problems in key areas of agricultural robotics. Underlying research topics include systems design of outdoor platforms, perception in semi-structured outdoor environments, planning and control for single and multiple robot systems, and manipulators for harvesting and weeding.

Please check the website for updates on the detailed technical program.

Application details can be found on the SSAR 2015 website (
Applications will be processed as received. Spaces are limited so please send your application as soon as possible.
Applications are due by 1 December 2014.

General enquiries can be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robert Fitch (ACFR, The University of Sydney)
Salah Sukkarieh (ACFR, The University of Sydney)
Marcel Bergerman (Carnegie Mellon University)
Eldert van Henten (Wageningen University)
John Billingsley (University of Southern Queensland)
John Reid (Moline Technology Innovation Center, John Deere)
Mingcong Deng (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)

posted 7 November 2014