IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

RAS to Launch New Publication: RA-Letters

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RA-L will publish papers reporting on innovative ideas and unpublished results that need to be rapidly published.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



Scholarship Announcement for Becoming a Robot GURU Workshop at ICRA 2015 - Deadline 11 April 2015

A Discipline-Specific Workshop is being sponsored by CRA-W and the Coalition to Diversify Computing affiliated with ICRA 2015. Student travel scholarships available for U.S. students.

The goal of this workshop is to introduce students to the exciting research area of robotics and to provide students currently doing research in robotics with valuable career-building information. Robotics is a very unique field that requires applied engineering, basic science, and strong creativity. The integration of these three areas often proves challenging. Despite this challenge, robots are becoming ubiquitous tools for many daily tasks including manufacturing, package delivery, and in home assistance. In order to prepare the next generation of robotics researchers, this workshop will address several discipline-specific challenges of robotics and strategies to overcome these challenges including the integration of hardware and software and multi-disciplinary integration required.

Undergraduate and graduate students are the primary audience of this workshop. Scholarships will be available to fund travel and attendance. Underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline:
11 April 2015 at 11:59 pm PDT

The scholarship announcements are expected to be made by 18 April 2015.

The application is available at:

Workshop webpage

For additional information, please contact:
Cindy L. Bethel, Ph.D.
Mississippi State University
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


posted 6 April 2015



2015 RAS AdCom Election - Call for Nominations

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society membership will elect six new members of the Administrative Committee in 2015, each to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2016. 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 of 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 1 May 2015.

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 the Society 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 1 May 2015 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.

posted 3 March 2015



Conference Organizers Workshop to be held at ICRA 2015. Register NOW!

Will you be organizing a Conference in the coming months? Are you considering organizing a conference? Then, this Workshop is for YOU!

RAS will host a Conference Organizers Workshop at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2015) on Wednesday afternoon, 27 May from 13:30-17:30. Get answers to your questions about the organization, requirements, logistics, technical program and finances of conferences, both large and small. Speak with the experts for advice on how to make sure your conference is executed flawlessly!

Space is limited, so we encourage you to register as soon as your availability is confirmed.

Please register for this FREE workshop on-line:

Presenters to include:
RAS Associate VP - Conference Finance: Paolo Fiorini
RAS Associate VP - Conference Operations: Torsten Kroeger
RAS Treasurer: Ron Lumia
IEEE Conference Expert: Alicia Zupeck
IEEE Meetings, Conferences and Events: Julie Amodeo
IEEE RAS Staff: Kathy Colabaugh

For more information see:

posted 18 March 2015



ICRA 2015 to present a Forum Featuring Robotics in Developing Countries

Call for Participation:
*ICRA 2015 Forum and Interactive Display Featuring Robotics in Developing Countries*

Interest in robotics is increasing in many parts of the world, and developing countries are no exception. From research projects aimed at developing novel robotic systems for unique challenges, to education and outreach programs that use robotics to enhance students' interest in STEM fields, the collection of robotics projects in developing countries provides a fascinating panorama of the potential and impact robotics can have around the world.

For the first time at ICRA 2015, a session will be specifically dedicated to highlighting robotics work in developing countries. An interactive display at the conference will feature information on a diverse array of robotics projects in developing countries around the world. Work from a wide range of categories will be featured, including but not limited to research, education, outreach, academic work, industry work, governmental work, and NGO work. This interactive display will also be accessible on the World Wide Web via the conference website beyond ICRA 2015.

Furthermore, a forum during the ICRA 2105 conference will allow for deeper interactions, both in person and via remote participation, with authors of selected projects highlighted in the interactive display. Discussions will center on themes such as relevant applications, current trends and future directions of robotics in developing countries, opportunities and challenges of robotics work in developing countries, and opportunities for "south-south" as well as "north-south" collaboration.

All researchers, educators, and practitioners working in robotics in developing countries, as well as those with an interest in this work are invited to participate.

How To Participate
Submissions are invited in a variety of categories, including (but not limited to) research, education, outreach, academic work, industry work, governmental work, and NGO work. A 2-3 page extended abstract, in the standard IEEE format, describing the project, can be submitted via Paper Plaza ( This PDF document should include a link to a representative photo of the project, to be downloaded and featured in the interactive display. It can also optionally have links to additional photographs related to the project. Finally, a short video about the project (3 minutes, 10 MB maximum) can also be uploaded to Paper Plaza with the submission.

The organizers will evaluate the submissions, and select relevant submissions for inclusion in the interactive display, and a subset of submissions for presentations at the forum. Acceptance notifications containing further steps will follow once the selection process is complete. The forum will be held on Friday 29 May at ICRA 2015. There will be an opportunity to remotely participate in the forum, without being registered for the full ICRA conference.

Important Dates
Entry Submissions Open: 30 January 2015
Entry Submissions Deadline: 31 March 2015
Acceptance Notifications (Interactive Display): Rolling, from 10 February 2015
Acceptance Notifications (Forum): 15 April 2015
Forum @ ICRA'15: Friday, 29 May 2015

The organizers would like to thank the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the ICRA 2015 organizing committee for the support of the forum on robotics in developing countries.

M. Bernardine Dias (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
G. Ayorkor Korsah (Ashesi University College, Ghana)
Chinwe Ekenna (Texas A&M University, USA)

Contact InformationThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

posted 6 February 2015

Call for Proposals - 2016 IEEE RAS Technical Education Program (Summer School)

Each year, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society offers financial support for three Technical Education Programs (RAS-TEP), formerly Summer Schools. In efforts to bring RAS closer to its membership, these programs rotate though the Americas, Europe and Asia and Pacific.

The RAS-TEP program is jointly run by the Member Activities Board (MAB) and the Technical Activities Board (TAB). 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. In 2016, Full sponsorship ($40,000) is available for for Area 3 (Asia, Pacific)

The review of Technical Education Program 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. Suited Technical Committees (TCs) of the RAS have to endorse the proposal. 

RAS Technical Committee List

RAS Technical Education Programs are designed to directly benefit RAS Student Members. At least 50% of the attendees should be RAS members, and will receive support through TEP funding.

Techncial Education Program Proposal - online form

Deadlines for the submission of 2016 proposals: 1 May 2015
Decision Notification: 1 July 2015

posted 10 March 2015



2015 IEEE/IFR Invention & Entrepreneurship Award - Nomination Deadline is 28 February

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. This is a key element to the continuing success of robotics and automation today. Active infusion of innovation and entrepreneurship into technological advancement is regarded critical at this juncture to strengthen a healthy balance between research and practice as well as a healthy growth of industrial and commercial sectors in robotics and automation.

In a joint event the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) will therefore recognize and honor outstanding achievements of entrepreneurs in the commercialization of innovative robotic and automation technology. These achievements will be recognized in a specially organized IEEE/IFR Joint Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation, which is being held in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2015). The selected finalists will have the opportunity to present their story of the genesis of a successful innovative product in robotics and automation from its very inception to the final state of commercialization in a series of plenary lectures. An evaluation board consisting of distinguished individuals from industry and academia will choose the winner. A prestigious plaque and a US$ 2,000 prize will be awarded to the winner.

Applications should describe the original work that has been translated into a commercial success. The application must include statements regarding:
- description of the innovation/product/application
- stages of the product genesis
- novelty/uniqueness of the product
- market analysis, economic viability and pathway for commercialization
- sustained competitive advantage
- current and future impact on and relevance to industry

Applications should not exceed a maximum length of 5 pages. Product descriptions and public relation material will not be accepted as an application. References and links to online material are permitted.

Application Deadline is 28 February 2015

Submission of Applications

Please send as PDF document (< 6 MB) to IFR Secretariat – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call for Applications

posted 29 January 2015



Call for Papers: IEEE Transactions on Robotics Special Issue on Movement Science for Humans and Humanoids

Call for Papers: IEEE Transactions on Robotics
Special Issue on Movement Science for Humans and Humanoids: Methods and Applications
Paper Submission deadline: 1 August 2015

Over the past three decades, computationally efficient techniques for the analysis, simulation, and optimization of articulated bodies have been developed by the robotics and mathematical communities. With recent advances in computational power and improved algorithms, these techniques are being applied to increasingly complex structures like the human body. More generally, the use of robotics formalisms for quantitative human motion analysis and synthesis is enabling new applications in, e.g., medical diagnosis, monitoring and feedback during rehabilitation and sports training, animation, ergonomic analysis and design, and improved rehabilitation and assistive robots and devices. At the same time, methods initially developed for human motion analysis in other fields like biomechanics, neuroscience, computer graphics, and computer vision are increasingly being used in robotics, in topics ranging from human-robot interaction to imitation learning.

This special issue seeks submissions describing novel work synthesizing multidisciplinary techniques for human and humanoid motion analysis, synthesis, and control.

Topics of interest include:
- Kinematic and dynamic modeling and analysis of the human body
- Dynamic parameter estimation and optimum experimental design
- Optimal control of human and humanoid motions
- Inverse optimal control for identification of objective functions during human motor control
- Motion recognition, segmentation, modeling, and analysis
- Quantitative analysis methods for rehabilitation and sports training
- Robotics techniques for animation
- Neuromuscular control
- Musculoskeletal dynamics
- Rehabilitation robotics
- Human motion analysis and understanding for imitation learning and human-robot interaction
- Human-inspired control algorithms for robots
- Model-predictive control for movement science
- Human movement informing the design and control of assistive devices, exoskeletons and prostheses
- Robotics-based motion synthesis

Contributions must have a central connection to robotics; pure psychomotor or biomechanics studies are outside the scope of this special issue. Interested authors are encouraged to contact the special issue editors with an abstract of their paper to confirm that their submission is within the scope of the special issue.

Abstracts should be sent via email toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call for Papers: 1 March 2015
Deadline for Initial Paper Submission: 1 August 2015
Decisions for First Round Review: 15 October 2015
Deadline for Revised Paper Submission: 15 December 2015
Target Publication Date: February or April 2016

Guest Editors:
Dana Kulic, University of Waterloo
Katsu Yamane, Disney Research
Gentiane Venture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Emel Demircan, University of Tokyo/Stanford University
Katja Mombaur, University of Heidelberg

posted 9 March 2015

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



Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World

Outdoor robotic competition on humanitarian demining
19-21 August 2015, Antofagasta, Chile

Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is the first international outdoor robotic competition on humanitarian demining. It 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 fourth edition of Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is organized by Universidad Catolica del Norte (Catholic University of the North) in conjunction with The 6th International Conference on Computing and Informatics in Northern Chile (INFONOR-Chile 2015).

Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is organized in collaboration with IEEE Robotics and Automation SocietyEgypt Chapter (2015 IEEE RAS Chapter of the Year Award and 2012 Chapter of the Year in IEEE Region 8) and Hadath for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The competition is technically co-sponsored by IEEE RAS Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT). It is supported by Executive Secretariat for the Demining & Development of the North West Coast, Mines Action & Human Rights Foundation and Protection against Armaments & Consequences and African Robotics Network (AFRON).

The ultimate goal of the Minesweepers competition is to put into practice the new strategic mission of IEEE, " 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.

Competition Registration: 1 Feb to 15 Mar 2015
Video Submission Phase: 3 July 2015
Notification of Acceptance: 15 July 2015
International Competition:19-21 Aug 2015

For more information, please visit:

posted 6 March 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