IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

Automation in Logistics


The modern logistics and service systems have to face the problems concerning to the planning and control of products, freight and people flows and the related information. The mission of the logistics in manufacturing systems, firms and public organizations producing services is to organize the right resources to the right place at the right time, while optimizing suitable performance measures and satisfying a given set of constraints. Moreover, the increasing complexity of such systems and the availability of Information and Communication Technologies require the development of models and lead to the definition of novel problems with respect to the related literature.


The goal of the TC on Automation in Logistics (TCAL) is to promote automation applications in logistics, production and service systems within the Robotics and Automation society. In particular, the TC will encourage the application of the same theoretical and technological automation approaches in different application fields such automated manufacturing systems, computer networks, transportation systems, healthcare, communication and information processing, allocation and management of technical, human and financial resources.


Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Optimization and scheduling
  • Resource allocation problems
  • Discrete and Hybrid approaches
  • Distributed and modular approaches
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Decision Support Systems

Applications including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Manufacturing and production systems
  • Supply Chains
  • Warehouses and distribution centres
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Power generation and distribution
  • Smart grids
  • Smart building and Smart cities
  • Medical Systems, Healthcare, and Assisted Living
  • Telecommunications
  • Automated and Internet-based Workflow Management Systems



I. Special Sessions on Logistics

  • CASE 2013: Special session on Automation in Logistics, Organizers: Maria Pia Fanti, Walter Ukovich, Spyros Reveliotis, Wisconsin, USA.
  • ICRA 2014: Special session on Neurobiologically Inspired Robotics: Automation in Logistics, Organizers: Rolf Johansson, Hesuan Hu, Hong Kong, China.
  • CASE 2014:Special session on Automation in Logistics, Organizers: Maria Pia Fanti, Chengbin Chu, Hesuan Hu, and Hoong Chuin Lau, Taipei, Taiwan

II. Special Sessions on Supporting Methodological Areas

  • CASE 2013: Special session on Discrete Event System Control, Organizers: Hesuan Hu, Xiren Cao, USA
  • CASE 2013: Special session on Discrete Event Systems and Hybrid Systems , Organizers: Hesuan Hu, Xiren Cao, Wisconsin, USA.
  • CASE 2014: Special session on Discrete Event & Hybrid Systems and Their Automation, Organizers: Hesuan Hu, Naiqi Wu, Taipei, Taiwan.
  • ICNSC 2014: Special session on Discrete Event Control of Networked Systems, Organizers: Hesuan Hu, Naiqi Wu, Florida, USA

III. Special Issues and Sections pertaining to Logistics and their Supporting Methodological Areas

Special Section on Advances in Discrete Event Systems for Automation, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, January 2014. Guest editors: Christos G. Cassandras, Maria Pia Fanti, Christoforos Hadjicostis, Spyros Reveliotis, and Carla Seatzu. (This special section focuses on new results and future directions in the the Discrete Event Systems theory, that also enable and promote the automation science and engineering, as well as on applications of this theory in different fields, including logistics.)

Special issue on Intelligent Manufacturing: New Advances and Challenges. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing. Guest Editors: Hesuan Hu, Ling Wang, Peter Luh.

Outreach activities outside the RAS

 IFAC MIM 2013: Special session on Product Lifecycle Management and Product Design Support Systems Session. Organizers: Joachim Lentes, Maria Pia Fanti, Walter Ukovich.
 ETFA 2013: Workshop: New Challenges and Results in Health Care Management. Organizers: Maria Pia Fanti, Walter Ukovich
CDC 2013: Special session on the Integration of Behavioral and Performance Control in Discrete Event Systems Theory, Organizers: Spyros Reveliotis and Rong Su, Florence, Italy.
 ETFA 2014: Workshop: Advanced Platform for manufacturing Engineering and Product Lifecycle Management, Organizers: Maria Pia Fanti, Walter Ukovich