IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

RAS Society Award recipients honored during ICRA 2013

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society recognized the following individuals for their outstanding accomplishments and service to RAS and the Robotics and Automation community, on 9 May at ICRA in Karlsruhe, Germany:

RAS Pioneer Award
Raja Chatila - ISIR - Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique, France
"For fundamental pioneering contributions to robotics research in the areas of navigation and control, for visionary leadership, and for life-long commitment to the field"

Peter B. Luh - University of Connecticut, USA
"For pioneering contributions to the development of near-optimal and efficient planning, scheduling, and coordination methodologies for manufacturing and power systems"

IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award
Oussama Khatib - Stanford University, USA
"In recognition of his vision and leadership for the Robotics and Automation Society, in establishing and sustaining conferences in robotics and related areas, publishing influential monographs and handbooks and training and mentoring the next generation of leaders in robotics education and research"

Satoshi Tadokoro - Tohoku University, Japan
"For his outstanding service and activities for Technical Committees, Administrative Committee, Chapter and Conferences"

Mengchu Zhou - New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
"For his outstanding contribution and leadership in RAS Journals, Conferences and Technical Activities"

RAS Early Career Award - Academic
Jan Peters - Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
"For the development of new robot learning approaches, architectures and methods and their application to anthropomorphic robots"

Cyril Stachniss - University of Freiburg, Germany
"For his contribution to mobile robot exploration and simultaneous localization and mapping"

RAS Early Career Award - Industry/Government
Matei Ciocarlie - Willow Garage, USA
"For major contributions to robotic manipulation research, released as open-source and widely adopted and used in both academia and industry"

Radu B. Rusu - Open Perception, Inc, USA
"For contributions to creating and leading an open source ecosystem that fosters technology transfer in 3D perception between academia and industry"

IEEE Inaba Technical Award for Innovation Leading to Production
Fan-Tien Cheng - National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
"For contributions to the development of the Automatic Virtual Metrology (AVM) System"

IEEE Robotics and Automation Award for Product Innovation
Fain-Biomedical, Inc. - Nagoya, Japan
"In recognition of the Endovascular Evaluator (EVE), forefront of medical simulator for training and evaluation of endovascular surgery"

RAS Most Active Technical Committee Award
TC on Automated Ground Vehicles and Intelligent Transportation Systems
Chair: Philippe Martinet
Co-Chairs: Christian Laugier and Christoph Stiller

RAS Chapter of the Year Award
Italy Chapter
Chair: Gianluca Antonelli

Nominations for the 2014 Society Awards are due by 1 August 2013, and should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., using the templates found at

2013 RAS AdCom Election - Call for Nominations

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society membership will elect six new members of the Administrative Committee in 2013, each to serve a three-year term beginning in January of 2014. The AdCom is the governing body of the Society.

AdCom members must attend two formal meetings each year, one in conjunction with ICRA and the other usually in October/November in conjunction with another major conference. Each AdCom member is expected to serve on at least two boards and/or committees of the Society.

Any higher-grade member of the Society is eligible to serve and all higher-grade members plus graduate students may nominate candidates and vote.

To nominate a candidate or offer yourself as a candidate, contact the Society at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 July 2013.

Candidates may also petition to be on the ballot. All persons who, by the deadline, submit petitions with valid signatures and IEEE member numbers with at least 2% of the year-end voting membership will be placed on the ballot.

Only original signatures on paper or electronic signatures submitted through the RAS petition website will be accepted. Faxed or emailed signatures are NOT acceptable. Contact RAS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to obtain a paper petition form or to set up an electronic petition.

Completed petitions must be received by 15 July 2013 to be placed on the ballot.

The Nominations Committee will consider all nominations and petitions and select the candidates to be placed on the ballot.

RAS Panel of Conference Organizers (POCO)

Conference timelines, Concentration Banking Accounts, Budgets, Whether to hire a meeting planner, Conference Closings, Hotel Contracts, Insurance, Tax Issues— organizing a conference can be a daunting task, especially a large conference like ICRA or IROS involving a thousand people or more. Anyone who is involved in organizing an IEEE Conference is urged to attend and get answers to your questions about the organization, requirements, logistics and finances of conferences, both large and small.

The RAS Panel of Conference Organizers (RAS POCO) will take place on Monday, 6 May from 9:00-14:00 during ICRA 2013, in room SR3-Konzerthaus in Karlsruhe, Germany. Lunch will be provided by RAS.

Tentative AGENDA
09:00-09:15 - Opening Remarks for the Mini POCO - David Orin
09:15-09:45 - Conferences in RAS - Nikos Papanikolopoulos
09:45-10:15 - Conference Initiation and MOUs - Kathy Colabaugh
10:15-10:45 - Conference Timeline & Checklist - Nikos Papanikolopoulos
10:45-11:15 - Conference Basics - Nikos Papanikolopoulos
11:15-12:00 - Conference Finance and Closing - Ron Lumia
12:00-12:30 - Working LUNCH
12:30-14:00 - How IEEE MCE can assist Organizers - Alicia Zupeck
14:00 - Q&A


Please register for this FREE workshop on-line

Or register by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Congratulations to Ruzena Bajcsy - recipient of the 2013 IEEE Robotics and Automation Award

"For contributions to computer vision, the active perception paradigm, and medical robotics"


Robotics BajcsyA driving force in the field of robotics for over three decades, Ruzena Bajcsy's pioneering work on machine vision and perception has helped robots achieve humanlike performance. During the 1980s, she was the first to recognize that active perception was needed to improve computer vision/information acquisition. Active perception enables mobile robots to actively control camera positions and other image acquisition conditions. Dr. Bajcsy's landmark work on computer vision also includes modeling of deformable objects, elastic model matching, and visual hyperacuity, which has had important implications for medical robotics and imaging. Dr. Bajcsy founded the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory in 1978 at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1998, she became the first woman to lead the National Science Foundation's Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering. An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Bajcsy is the NEC Chair Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

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:
2012 – Bernard Roth
2011 – Hirochika Inoue
2010 – Toshio Fukuda
2009 – Antal Bejczy
2008 – Paul G. Backes
           Eric T. Baumgartner
           Larry H. Matthies
2007 – Gerd Hirzinger
2006 – George A. Bekey
2005 – Seiuemon Inaba
2004 – Joseph F. Engelberger


Webinar Slides and Recording Now Available

Did you get a chance to join the RAS Webinar - The Power of Presentations: Make Yours Informative, Persuasive, & Memorable?

Don't worry if you did not, the slides and a recording of the webinar are now posted here on the RAS website, under the Education tab.

If you would like to address the issues mentioned below, check it out.

•Many engineers experience a kind of stage fright when they make presentations in front of groups, whether small or large. Their hands shake, their palms sweat, and they have a tendency to rock back and forth. But they may think there is nothing they can do about these physical tics.

•The success of an oral presentation depends on both the clear verbal information conveyed by the presenter and on the clear visual information conveyed by graphs, charts, tables, and other visuals. Unfortunately poor visuals can cause confusion when the presenter ignores the conventions of displaying information.

•How do you present technical information to non-technical people? Many engineers are tempted to “dumb down” technical content for non-engineers, often creating over-simplified presentations that insult the audience.



The Tibion Bionic Leg Wins the IERA 2013 Award

IERA logoKarlsruhe, 8 May 2013 - The 9th annual Invention and Entrepreneurship Award in Robotics and Automation (IERA) was presented to Robert Horst, AlterG Inc. (former Tibion Corporation) for the Tibion Bionic Leg, at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Karlsruhe, Germany.

"The awards committee had a difficult choice to make with three excellent finalists. In the end, we picked the Tibion Bionic Leg for the following reason as noted in the citation for the award: 'A breakthrough product for rehabilitation of stroke patients at an affordable price, and offering a compelling story of an entrepreneurial journey with typical ups-and-downs culminating in a successful business'", commented Raj Madhavan, Vice President of IEEE-RAS Industrial Activities Board and Chairman of the Awards Committee.

"I was very happy to accept this award for the AlterG Bionic Leg because it acknowledges the growing importance of robotics for rehabilitation. It is gratifying to receive such a prestigious award after our team has worked so hard to perfect the Bionic Leg and introduce it into physical therapy. I am looking forward to working with the expanded AlterG team to accelerate the availability of Bionic Leg therapy and develop future innovations in rehabilitation robotics" stated Robert Horst of AlterG.

The Tibion Bionic Leg (TBL) is a wearable, battery-powered, robotic mobility assistance device. It is a robotic trainer that is activated by the patient's intent to move. The TBL is used by physical therapists for patients with impaired mobility and is designed to strengthen stance, improve gait, and enhance active motor learning while protecting its users.

Tibion Incorporated was founded in 2002. Robert Horst started research of the Bionic Leg years after his knee surgery. After developing the hard- and software of the product, Tibion sold the first Bionic Leg in 2009. By today the company has sold more than a hundred units. Tibion is now part of AlterG, Inc., a company who is revolutionizing modern rehabilitation through the use of the cutting edge Anti-Gravity Treadmill® and Bionic Leg. The Bionic Leg is currently available in over 100 hospitals, physical therapy facilities and skilled nursing facilities worldwide. The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill® technology was originally developed for NASA and is the first FDA-cleared medical device that uses patented differential air pressure technology. AlterG products are used by major medical centers, leading physical therapy clinics, top professional and collegiate teams and athletes, and individual sports and fitness programs worldwide.

The awards committee cited the other two finalists as follows:

The Thymio II Educational Robot by Stéphane Magnenat, ETH Zürich and Fanny Riedo, EPFL, Switzerland

"An inspiring product motivating young boys and girls to enter science, technology, engineering and math disciplines."

Intelligent Grit-blasting Robots for The Surface Preparation Industry by Professor Dikai Liu, University of Technology, Australia

"A good example of bringing robotics and automation technologies to tackle dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks, and to improve infrastructure maintenance."

In 2005 the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE/RAS) and the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) agreed to jointly sponsor the Invention and Entrepreneurship Award. The purpose of this award is to highlight and honor the achievements of the inventors with value creating ideas and entrepreneurs who propel those ideas into world-class products. At the same time the joint disposition of the award underlines the determination of both organizations to promote stronger collaboration between robotics science and robotics industry. The annual presented award consists of a plaque and a $2,000 honorarium.

IEEE RAS Summer School Program - Call for Proposals Deadline

Deadline: 1 April 2013 for 2014 Proposals!

The IEEE RAS Summer School program is jointly run by the Member Activities Board (MAB) and the Technical Activities Board (TAB) of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS). The program is intended to sponsor or co-sponsor up to three summer schools per year around the world. One of the three summer schools will be fully sponsored by RAS to a level of $40,000, and it will rotate annually through RAS' three geographical regions in a round robin fashion. The other two summer schools will be cosponsored with interested organizations in the other two geographical regions up to a level of $20,000 each.

The review of summer school proposals is based on assessments from two different viewpoints, the first one with respect to the general structure, including organizational matters and budget, and the second one with respect to the technical content:

  • The Education Committee will check the general organizational structure of the summer school, including budget aspects and guide through the general application process.
  • Suited Technical Committees (TCs) of the RAS have to endorse theproposal. Current TCs are listed at:

More detailed information can be found in the Education Column of the March 2012 issue of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine (RAM) [1]; the column is open access and can be downloaded from:


Deadlines for the submission of proposals for the coming years are as follows:

Proposals for 2014

  • Deadline: 1 April 2013
  • Decision: ICRA 2013
  • Full sponsorship ($40,000) for Area 1 (Americas)

Proposals for 2015

  • Deadline: 1 April 2014
  • Decision: ICRA 2014
  • Full sponsorship ($40,000) for Area 2 (Europe, Africa, Middle East)


Judging is now open for the ICRA 2013 Photo Contest!

Let Contest Begin! Please help us choose a winner!

Read more: Judging is now open for the ICRA 2013 Photo Contest!

IEEE RAS Mobile Microrobotics Challenge at ICRA 2013

We would like to announce that as of this Fall, the US NIST has passed on organizational duties for the annual Microrobotics Challenge to the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Micro-Nano Robotics and Automation.

For ICRA 2013, a committee composed of Prof. Dan Popa, Prof. Dave Cappelleri, and Dr. Jason Gorman will organize the Mobile Microrobotics Challenge as a Robot Challenge event.

The MMC event is an excellent motivator for students to pursue research in micro-nano robotics and we encourage submissions to this event by December 15, 2012.

The rules for next year's event are posted online at Please circulate the CFP link to collaborators, students and colleagues who may be interested in participating.

Thank you and we hope to see you at the MMC competition in Karlsruhe!



Enter to win an iPad mini - ICRA Photo Contest

Do you enjoy photography, have an artistic eye and are up for a challenge? If you are attending ICRA 2013 in Karlsruhe, Germany, RAS invites you to participate in a photography contest. Photos should capture the essence of ICRA, exhibit creativity and technical skill. You are invited to submit up to three original photos taken during the event from 6-10 May 2013. The winner will receive an iPad mini.

ICRA eNews Photo ContestAll photos submitted to this contest may be used by RAS in future promotions, the RAS Facebook page, the RAS website or other opportunities.

Deadline for Submission of Photos: 17 May 2013

Judging: Photos will be placed in an album on the RAS Facebook Page. The photo with the most "likes" by 31 May will be the winner. RAS members and the public will be encouraged to vote for their favorite photo.

Please use the following form to submit your entry:

For questions, or to submit your entry via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


RAS AdCom Election Results

Six RAS members have been elected by the membership to serve a three-year term beginning January 1, 2013. We wish the newly elected members of the Administrative Committee success and thank all candidates afor their willingness to serve and for permitting their names to be included on the ballot.

AdCom Members Elected at Large:
William (Bill) Hamel
Max Qing Hu Meng

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

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

  • AdCom Member from RAS Geogrpahical Area 3 (Asia, Australia, Pacific Rim):
    Kazuhito Yokoi

 william-hamel ning-xi

Left: William (Bill) Hamel Right: Ning Xi