IEEE CASE 2017 will be held on 20-23 August 2017 in Xi'an, China. IEEE CASE is a flagship automation conference of the IEEE RAS and constitutes the primary forum for cross-industry and multi-disciplinary research in automation. Its goal is to provide a broad coverage and dissemination of foundational research in automation among researchers, academics, and practitioners.

The technical program of IEEE CASE 2017 will consist of tutorials/workshops, keynote/plenary speeches, automation forums, and oral presentations. Papers describing original work on abstractions, algorithms, theories, methodologies, and case studies are invited. Accepted and presented papers will be published in the conference proceedings, and submitted for inclusion into IEEEXplore as well as other Abstracting and Indexing (A&I) databases. IEEE CASE is an offspring of the journal IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (TASE). The journal will publish a CASE Special Issue of top-rated papers. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) will also accept journal quality publications in conjunction to CASE 2017.

Regular papers and special session proposals and papers should be submitted online at the conference website at One new feature of CASE 2017 is that the authors of the papers published or accepted in and after 2016 by IEEE TASE or IEEE Transactions on Robotics can request presentation of their papers at the conference in the newly organized "transaction paper sessions". General inquiries should be addressed via Email to the Program Chair, Prof. Qing-Shan Jia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The best conference paper award, the best application paper award, and the best student paper award will be selected.

Xian Bell Tower front

Xi'an is a famous historical and cultural city in China. It is the cradle of the Chinese nationality, the birthplace of the Chinese civilization and the representative of the Chinese culture. The city was first established more than 3100 years ago and it has been taken as a capital for 1129 years for 13 dynasties. It is one of the most ancient capitals of the world, in the company of Athens, Rome and Cairo. The city once functioned as the political, economic and cultural center of China and as the starting point of the renowned Silk Road. Due to its long history and rich culture, the city is reputed to be the natural history museum.

1 December 2016 Submission site opens;
11 January 2017 Special session proposal due;
29 January 2017 Special session acceptance notification;
29 January 2017 Tutorial/workshop proposal submission due;
15 February 2017 Contributed paper submission due;
15 February 2017 RA-L/CASE submission due;
26 February 2017 Tutorial/workshop acceptance notification;
20 May 2017 Paper acceptance notification;
27 May 2017 Conference registration opens;
12 June 2017 Final paper submission due;
20 July 2017 RA-L notification



Registration Deadline is 12 December 2016!

Vacuum cleaners, drones and arguable driverless cars, assistive wearables, 3D printers and virtual headsets are examples of consumer robots. This Winter School's objective is to better define consumer robotics - and specifically, identify research topics and areas.

A Field Trip to the Consumer Electronics Show (5-7 January 2017) is a part of the Winter School. CES hosts 400+ consumer robot companies which join 170,000 attendees, 3700+ exhibitors and global media for product launches and market trends.

Lectures and Workshops will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), USA

Prof. Zexiang Li (Hong Kong University of Technology) on DJI and Consumer Drones
Dr. Steve Cousins (Savioke) on Hotel Robot Room Service
Dr. Tony Lewis (Qualcomm) on Embedded Intelligence
Prof. Ayanna Howard (Georgia Tech) on Educational Robots
Dr. Martin Buehler (Disney Research)
And more to come...

These Distinguished Colleagues have academe/industry experiences that will help students and the robotics community better understand the growing field of consumer robotics.

Application Deadline: 12 December 2017

Apply online here:

For more information see:

The IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2016) was held 9-14 October 2016, in Daejeon, Korea. Congratulations to the following Award Recipients - which were announced on 13 October during the Awards Luncheon.

Harashima Award small

IROS Harashima Award for Innovative Technologies
This award is to honor Professor Fumio Harashima, the Founding Honorary Chair of the IROS conferences, by recognizing outstanding contributions of an individual of the IROS community who has pioneered activities in robotics and intelligent systems.
Shigeki SUGANO - Waseda University, Japan
"For his technical contributions and innovation in human-symbiotic anthropomorphic robotics"

IROS Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes an individual who has performed outstanding service and leadership for the benefit and advancement of the IROS Conference. Up to two awards will be given annually at the IROS Conference.
Christian LAUGIER - INRIA, France

IROS Toshio Fukuda Young Professional Award
This award recognizes individuals (from academic institutions, government, industry, or research labs) who, in their early career, have made identifiable contributions that have had a major impact on intelligent robots and systems. Up to two awards will be given annually at the IROS Conference.
Fumiya IIDA - University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

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IROS JTCF Novel Technology Paper Award for Amusement Culture 
This award recognizes technical papers which have made practical technology contributions to Toys, Toy Models and Amusement Culture.
2 Winners this Year!
"Robot Artist for Colorful Picture Painting with Visual Control System"
Ren Luo, Ming-Jyun Hong, Ping-Chang Chung

"The CableRobot Simulator - Large Scale Motion Platform Based on Cable Robot Technology"
Philipp Miermeister, Carlo Masone, Andreas Pott, Heinrich H. Buelthoff, Joachim Tesch

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IROS RoboCup Best Paper Award 
This award recognizes technical papers which have made identifiable contributions to RoboCup.
"Multi-Robot Search for a Moving Target: Integrating World Modeling, Task Assignment and Context"
Francesco Riccio, Emanuele Borzi, Guglielmo Gemignani, Daniele Nardi


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IROS KROS Best Paper Award on Cognitive Robotics
This award is to promote interdisciplinary researches on cognition for technical systems and advancements of cognitive robotics in industry, home applications, and daily life.
"Predicting Actions to Act Predictably: Cooperative Partial Motion Planning with Maximum Entropy Models"
Mark Pfeiffer, Ulrich Schwesinger, Hannes Sommer, Enric Galceran, Roland Siegwart


Best Paper SSRR small

IROS Best Paper Award on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics
This award is to promote advanced research on safety, security and rescue robotics. The name of the award is connected with Mr. MotohiroKisoi who was killed in Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on 17 January 1995. He was a master student of Kobe University, Japan at that time. He had a dream to create a robot that can help people. To memorialize him and Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the award has established.
"A Palm for a Rock Climbing Robot Based on Dense Arrays of Micro-Spines"
Shiquan Wang, Hao Jiang, Mark Cutkosky



Best Application Paper small

IROS ICROS Best Application Paper Award
This award is to promote researches on excellent robot application.
"Skeletal Structure with Artificial Perspiration for Cooling by Latent Heat for Musculoskeletal Humanoid Kengoro"
Toyotaka Kozuki, Hirose Toshinori, Takuma Shirai, Shinsuke Nakashima, Yuki Asano, Yohei Kakiuchi, Kei Okada, Masayuki Inaba


Best Student Paper Wulfmeier small

IROS ABB Best Student Paper Award
This award recognizes the most outstanding paper authored primarily by a student at the annual IROS Conference.
"Watch This: Scalable Cost-Function Learning for Path Planning in Urban Environments"
Markus Wulfmeier, Dominic Zeng Wang, Ingmar Posner




IROS Best Paper Hutter small

IROS Best Paper Award
This award recognizes the most outstanding paper at the annual IROS Conference.
"ANYmal - a Highly Mobile and Dynamic Quadrupedal Robot"
Marco Hutter, Christian Gehring, Dominic Jud, Andreas Lauber, Carmine Dario Bellicoso, Vassilios Tsounis, Jemin Hwangbo, Karen Bodie, Péter Fankhauser, Michael Bloesch, Remo Diethelm, Samuel Bachmann, Amir Melzer, Mark Hoepflinger


Congratulations to the six RAS members elected by the membership to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2017. 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:

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Seth Hutchinson
University of Illinois, USA




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Hong Qiao
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China





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

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Anthony Maciejewski
Colorado State University, USA




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

Antonio Bicchi small

Antonio Bicchi
University of Pisa, Italy



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

YasuhisaHasegawa small 2016

Yasuhisa Hasegawa
Nagoya University, Japan




 photo Dong Soo Kwon small

Dong-Soo Kwon
KAIST, South Korea

With heartfelt gratitude the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) and the robotics community bids farewell to Ken Goldberg, who enthusiastically served from 2011-2016 as Editor-in-Chief of T-ASE. Successor Michael Yu Wang has some big shoes to fill, but will be assisted by Samantha Jacobs and the T-ASE Editorial Team.

T ASE handoff

Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley, took the helm in October 2011 and never looked back. The journal has grown in volume and page count, in prestige, and has seen huge growth in reach and impact factor during his tenure. In his last Editorial, Ken reviews the team effort that doubled the T-ASE Impact Factor over 5 years and quotes RAS Past President Raja Chatila: "One Robot is Robotics, Ten Robots is Automation"

Automation has now come of age! RAS, the T-ASE Editors and Associate Editors, and the automation community will miss the Leadership provided by Ken. We wish him well in all future endeavors!

Ken is succeeded by Michael Yu Wang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Michael's areas of expertise are as follows:
Primary areas: Human-Centered Automation, Assembly Modeling, Manufacturing, Grasping, Fixturing, Feeding.
Secondary areas: Theoretical Methods, Algorithmic Foundations, Machine Tools, Numerical Optimization.

IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
Special Issue on Bio-inspired Social Robot Learning in Home Scenarios

There has been considerable progress in robotics in the last years allowing robots to successfully contribute to our society. We can find them from industrial environments, where they are nowadays established, to domestic places, where their presence is steadily rising. The proposed special issue intends to explore the following question: "How well prepared are learning robots to be social actors in daily-life home environments in the near future."

The special issue is therefore not only an opportunity to address this focuses on the latest scientific contributions on bio-inspired learning and social robotics, but also links them with a clear focus to push the presence of robots in people's daily-life environment. Thus, one main goal of the special issue is offering a common foundation for roboticists from different fields of expertise to contribute beyond the current state-of-the-art of learning methods in robotics especially applied to home scenarios and recent developments in assistive robots.

The subjects of the special issue include, but are not limited to:
- Interactive reinforcement learning.
- Policy and reward shaping.
- Neural learning of object affordances and contextual affordances.
- Predictive learning from sensorimotor information.
- Learning understanding of environment ambiguity.
- Learning with hierarchical and deep neural architectures.
- Bootstrapping complex action learning in robots.
- Learning supported by external trainers, by demonstration and imitation.
- Parental scaffolding as a bootstrapping method for learning.

The special issue is open for all submissions which will be independently peer-reviewed in accordance with IEEE policy. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the "Information for Authors" of the journal, found at, and submitted through the IEEE TCDS Manuscript center under the category: "SI: Social Robots": Papers submitted must not have been published previously, though they may represent significant extensions of prior work.

31 January 2017 - Deadline for manuscript submission.
15 April 2017 - Notification of authors.
15 May 2017 - Deadline for revised manuscripts.
15 June 2017 - Final decisions.

For further information, please contact one of the following guest editors in this order:
Francisco Cruz - Knowledge Technology Institute, University of Hamburg, Germany - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jimmy Baraglia - Emergent Robotics Laboratory, Osaka University, Japan - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Yukie Nagai - Emergent Robotics Laboratory, Osaka University, Japan - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Stefan Wermter - Knowledge Technology Institute, University of Hamburg, Germany - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2016 IEEE International Conference on Simulation, Modeling, and Programming for Autonomous Robots
San Francisco, California USA
13-16 December 2016


Early Registration Deadline: 31 October 2016

After a very selective review process, approximately half of the paper submissions were rejected, and we are looking forward to a high-quality, single track program of IEEE SIMPAR 2016.


Emo Todorov
Erwin Coumans
Luis Sentis


Combining Optimal Control, Reinforcement Learning and Movement
Primitives to Achieve Better Robot Motions
Organizer: Katja Mombaur

Grand Challenges in Robotic Simulation
Organizer: Evan Drumwright

Modeling and Simulating Mechanical Rigid-Body Systems Using Siconos
Organizers: Vincent Acary and Stephen Sinclair

The Role of Simulation in Robot Programming
Organizers: Maria Gini and Enrico Pagello


Technical tours will be held on 17 December 2016 (incl. robotics lab tours at UC Berkeley and Stanford University).


The Parc 55 – A Hilton Hotel
We offer discounted room rates for SIMPAR attendees.
On 14 December 2016, all conference attendees will be able to enjoy a beautiful dinner cruise on the San Francisco Bay.

WAFR 2016

The 2016 International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR) will take place in San Francisco from 18-20 December 2016, adjacent to SIMPAR 2016.


3D robot simulation and mathematical modeling of robots
Learning from simulation
Reliability, scalability and validation of robot simulation
Simulated sensors and actuators
Machine learning for robotics applications
Offline simulation of robot design
Online simulation with real-time constraints
Simulation with software/hardware in the loop
Middleware for robotics
Modeling framework for robots and environments
Testing and validation of robot software
Standardization for robotic services
Communication infrastructures in distributed robotics
Interaction between sensor networks and robots
Human robot interaction and collaboration
Simulation of multi-robot systems
Model-based optimization and optimal control
Model predictive control


If you have questions, need additional support, or encounter problems, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2017 IEEE RAS–SIGHT Humanitarian Robotics & Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC'17)
29-30 May, ICRA 2017, Singapore (Porto Alegre, Brazil remotely)

competition photo

Edson Prestes (UFRGS, Brazil)
Alexandre Amory (PUCRS, Brazil)
Raj Madhavan (HumRobTech, LLC, & IEEE RAS-SIGHT, USA)

The fourth HRATC edition will follow the footsteps of previous ones and continue to focus on promoting the development of new strategies for autonomous landmine detection using a mobile (ground) robot. HRATC Challenge has three phases: 1) Simulation Phase, 2) Testing Phase, and 3) Finals Phase. The strategies developed by the participating teams will be according to the following criteria: exploration time and environmental coverage; detection and classification quality; and landmine avoidance. Teams will be progressively eliminated after each phase and the remaining teams would move on to the next phase culminating in the Challenge (Finals) phase at ICRA'17. All teams will use the same robot that will be available before (for remote practice runs) and during the Challenge. Furthermore, participants will have access to a ROS-based simulator to develop and test their code before testing it remotely on the real robot.

More details on the previous edition can be found at and from the following summary articles published in the IEEE RAS Robotics & Automation Magazine:
- 2015 Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge, IEEE RAS RAM, Sept. 2015.
- 2016 Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge, IEEE RAS RAM, Sept. 2016.

All potential participants should submit a paper (1-2 pages) in the standard IEEE format including figures that describes the motivation and previous experiences/researches (if any). The organizers will then evaluate this paper and an acceptance notification containing further steps would follow. All submissions should be sent to <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. The Challenge will take place remotely in Porto Alegre, Brazil and beamed in real time to the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore during ICRA'17. Necessary logistics and travel support will be provided depending on the number of qualifying teams.

- Entry Deadline: 15 November 2016
- Acceptance Notifications: 1 December 2016
- Simulation Phase: 15 December 2016 - 15 February 2017
- Testing Phase: 1 March 2017 - 1 April 2017
- Challenge@ICRA'17: 29-30 May 2017

A downloadable CFP and more info. on HRATC'17 is available from

It is going to be amazing!


2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016) will be held in Daejeon, Korea, 9-14 October 2016.

Victor Scheinman died at the age of 73 from a heart attack while visiting his brother in Northern California. Vic lived in Woodside, near Palo Alto, CA USA and in San Francisco, CA USA.

V Scheinman small

Vic graduated from MIT with a degree in Aero & Astro. He then entered Stanford as a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering and also spent a year in Belgium at the von Karmen Institute for Fluid Dynamics. After completing his Masters Degree he joined the Stanford Artificial Intelligence lab (SAIL) and enrolled for an Engineers Degree, which he completed in 1969. In connection with his Engineers Degree thesis he researched the idea of having a purely digital mechanical arm. This led to the "Orm" that was a prototype a pneumatically actuated multi-degree of freedom snake like arm. In addition, he was instrumental in modifying a Rancho Los Amigos exoskeleton arm for operation under computer control and he also participated in the design of a high-speed computer controlled humanoid hydraulic arm.

The main portion of his Engineers thesis dealt with the design of a six-degree-of-freedom computer controlled electric manipulator that he named The Stanford Arm. He then went on to produce over 10 copies of this Stanford Arm. It became the preferred research device in several university, government and industrial laboratories, and mathematical models of it were used as example in early robotics research papers and textbooks. This design is also deservedly referred to as "The Scheinman Stanford Robot Arm" or simply "The Scheinman Arm."

Vic then developed a six-axis force/torque sensing wrist that could be carried by the Scheinman Arm and other manipulators. This facilitated experiments in force control. He then returned briefly to MIT where he had been invited by Marvin Minsky to design a small humanoid arm for their AI Lab.

After returning to California, Vic started Vicarm, a company that produced copies of both his MIT design, which he named the Vicarm, and his Stanford arm. After several years his company was bought by Unimation, Inc. and was turned into the West Coast Division of Unimation. Vic's first new product, sponsored by General Motors through Unimation, was basically a scaled up industrial version of the Vicarm design. It was named the PUMA manipulator, and was well received both in academia and industry.

Victor left his company in 1980 to found the West Coast office of the computer vision company Automatix. After Vic left, Unimation was purchased by Westinghouse, and subsequently Brian Carlisle and Bruce Shimano, Vic's closest colleagues at Vicarm, arranged to reorganize Unimation's West Coast Division into Adept, Inc. For the rest of his life Vic remained close to and highly supportive of both Carlisle and Shimano.

At Automatix Vic invented Robot World. It was an entirely new concept for robotic use in manufacturing. He intended it to be used for circuit board assemble. Basically it was composed of multiple small manipulators magnetically suspended and free to move under computer control on an air cushion under an x-y table. Eventually Robot World was licensed for manufacture by the Japanese company Fujitsu.

After leaving Automatix Vic devoted his time to consulting and education. He coached design students in Stanford's Mechanical Engineering department and robotics labs. He was also active with High School students whom he mentored in connection with the First Robotics Competitions.

Vic received the Joseph F. Engelberger Award and also the ASME's Leonardo DaVinci Award for his work as a robot designer. Several of his manipulators are exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC and the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Vic was the consummate engineer. He kept extensive design notebooks, and his home shop was stocked with surplus hardware for electronic, computer and mechanical systems. He was totally a hands-on person, who did his own repairs and designs. He felt he could fix almost anything, and loved figuring out ways to solve problems. He always had a large number of projects going at the same time, and was very generous in providing his tools, parts, labor and expertise to his friends, colleagues and students. He will be greatly missed by the large community that he touched throughout his life with his dynamic personality and generous heart.

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