IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

RAS E-News October 2007

Volume 5, Number 10

1. Call for Nominations: RAM Associate Editors

IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine is soliciting nominations for two new Associate Editors, to serve a 3-year term beginning in January 2008. Please send nominations, including self-nominations to Stefano Stramigioli, s.stramigioli [at]

2. Candidates for RAS AdCom

RAS members will elect six new members of the Society's Administrative Committee. The newly elected members will serve a three-year term beginning in January 2008. Members can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. Voting will begin in October after ballots and candidate information are sent to all members. This year, for the first time, the election announcement, ballot and candidate information will be sent via email to all members with valid email addresses. Those without valid email addresses (including those whose announcements bounce) will be notified by postal mail and sent traditional paper ballots. The candidates are listed below. Note: Members may vote for candidates from any area, but may cast votes for no more than six candidates.

a. Area 1 The Americas (IEEE Regions 1-6, 7, and 9)

  • Dave Orin, The Ohio State University Bio
  • Nikos Papanikolopoulos, University of Minnesota Bio
  • Lynne Parker, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Bio
  • Wes Snyder, North Carolina State University Bio

b. Area 2 Europe, Africa, Middle East (IEEE Region 8)

  • Alessandro DeLuca, University of Rome-La Sapienza Bio
  • Stefano Stramigioli, University of Twente Bio
c. Area 3 Asia, Australia, and Oceania (IEEE Region 10)
  • Peter Corke, CSIRO Bio
  • Li-Chen Fu, National Taiwan University Bio
  • Sukhan Lee, SungKyunKwan University Bio
  • Shigeki Sugano, Waseda University Bio
  • Satoshi Tadokoro, Tohuku University Bio
  • Michael Yu Wang, Chinese University of Hong Kong Bio

Thanks to Art Sanderson and Toshio Fukuda, co-chairs of the nominations committee, for their efforts.

3. CFP: IROS 2008 The 2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems will be held September 22-26, 2008 in Nice, France. The conference theme is "Robots for the planet", reflecting the growing development of robots use in all aspects of human life and their increasing diversity but also to emphasize the necessity of managing the co-existence of robots and humans within a sustainable development scheme.

General Co-Chairs are Raj Chatila (LAAS) and Jean-Pierre Merlet (INRIA). Program Chair is Christian Laugier (INRIA.

Deadline for contributed papers: 11:59 PM, France Time, February 22, 2008

All papers must be submitted electronically in PDF format through the PaperPlaza system and must contain no information to identify authors and must contain a maximum of 6 pages, including Figures although 2 additional pages are allowed at a charge of 200 Euros per page.

4. RAS Fellowship Awarded to Rachel Gockley

The RAS Fellowship for Women has been awarded to Rachel Gockley, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA USA. Honorable Mention certificates will be awarded to Christine Stubbs also of Carnegie Mellon University, Emma Brunskill of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Shumei YuMilanka Ringwald of ETH, Switzerland.

The Fellowship is one of the proposed projects approved by the adcom for funding under the New Initiatives Grant Program.

According to George Bekey and Allison Okamura, cochairs of the Fellowship Review Committee, there were 36 applicants for the Fellowship, despite the short application time imposed by the constraints of the New Initiatives Grant program.

The Fellowship Committee is seeking industry sponsors to grant additional fellowships.

5. 2008 IEEE-CASE:

The fourth annual IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE 2008), sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, will be held from August 23 to 26, 2008 in Washington DC, U.S.A. The conference goal is the broad coverage and dissemination of foundational research on automation among researchers, academicians, and industry practitioners. The focus is on scientific methods for automated machines and systems operating in structured environments over long periods, and also on the explicit structuring of environments. The deadline for submissions is 1 February, 2008.

6. The ICRA 2008 Robot Challenge:

A new robot event is being introduced at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, starting at ICRA 2008. The event will consist of a number of specific challenges with the overall theme of "space robotics". Our goal is to make this competition accessible to all members of the ICRA community, to integrate it tightly with the technical aspects of the conference, and to encourage as many participants as possible to bring their robots and compete.

We are currently working on finalizing the rules and the structure of the events, and are looking for input from the community. If you would like to contribute your opinions and experience to the discussion, please join the discussion mailing list. As the details of the Challenge solidify, they will be posted on the web site. To be informed of new developments, please join the the announcement mailing list .

Important Dates

  • 15 Sep 2007: Initial event announcement
  • 15 Oct 2007: Second draft of rules released, based on feedback
  • 31 Oct 2007: Final version of rules released
  • 1 Nov 2007: Information session at IROS 2007
  • 1 Jan 2008: Registration deadline for teams
  • 14 Feb 2008: Deadline for travel funding requests
  • 1 Mar 2008: Travel funding announcements sent
  • 19-23 May 2008: Competition at ICRA 2008
For more information, contact the Challenge Chairs

Challenge Chairs
Bill Smart
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Washington University in St. Louis
Phone: +1 (314) 935-4749
Fax: +1 (314) 935-7302
Email: wds (at) cse (dot) wustl (dot) edu

Paul Rybski
Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Phone: +1 (412) 268-7417
Fax: +1 (412) 268-5571
Email: prybski (at) cs (dot) cmu (dot) edu

7. 2008 RAS New Initiative Grants: Tentative CFP

As a result of a new IEEE policy, the Robotics and Automation Society anticipates being able to use some of its 2008 budget to fund a modest number of initiatives that would benefit society members in general. We expect approximately $90,000 to be available to support initiatives. We hope to be able to fund several initiatives in the range of $5000 to $24,900. While we cannot make a firm call for proposals at this time because IEEE will not approve our 2008 budget until mid-November, we are making a tentative preliminary call now because the time for proposal preparation after IEEE approves the 2008 budget will be too short. We do expect our budget to be approved. When it is, a final call for proposals will be issued to confirm what is contained in the Tentative Call for Proposals.

Members are invited to submit proposals for initiative to the RAS administrator Rosalyn Snyder r.g.snyder at

In accordance with our Business Plan, proposals will be reviewed by the following major Boards of the Society, which, except for EPSB, will be chaired by their respective vice presidents in 2008:

  • Conference Activities Board (CAB) VP: John Hollerbach
  • Industrial Activities Board (IAB) VP: Alex Zelinsky
  • Member Activities Board (MAB) VP: Alicia Casals
  • Publications Activities Board (PAB) VP: Peter Luh
  • Technical Activities Board (TAB) VP: Ken Goldberg
  • EPSB Chair (not formally a VP) Stefano Stramigioli.

The Boards will prioritize the requests and send them to the Financial Activities Board, which will review them and forward them to the AdCom, which will make the ultimate funding decisions.


  • December 31, 2007 – Deadline for proposal submission
  • March 15, 2008 – Funding decisions disseminated
  • November 30, 2008 – Final report due
  • November 30, 2008 – Deadline for invoice