AI for Long-Term Autonomy

A Special Issue proposal by
T.Duckett, L. Kunze, M. Hanheide, G. Sibley, and N. Hawes

Topical Area

Autonomous systems have a long history in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics. However, only through recent advances in technology has it been possible to create autonomous systems capable of operating in long-term, real-world scenarios. Examples include autonomous robots that operate outdoors on land, air, water, and space, and indoors in offices, care homes, and factories. Designing, developing, and maintaining intelligent autonomous systems that operate in real-world environments over long periods of time, i.e. weeks, months, or years, poses many challenges. The proposed Special Issue will focus on such challenges and on ways to overcome them using methods from AI.

The size of this community is estimated as several hundred researchers. The proposal follows the successful organization of the ICRA 2016 Workshop on AI for Long-Term Autonomy, and previous events held at major robotics conferences (e.g. ICRA Workshops on Long-term Autonomy, 2011-2014) and events on AI and Robotics (

Motivation and Endorsements

The proposal of this Special Issue is motivated by the success of the Workshop “AI for Long-Term Autonomy”, organized at the ICRA’16 conference on 16 May 2016 ( The quality of the speakers and number of attendees (ca 200) were very encouraging. In the absence of published proceedings of the Workshop, the important contributions presented there could be missed by a wider public. The proposed Special Issue would also encourage participation by other attendees of the workshop and the wider scientific community working on related issues in AI for long-running robotic systems.

The ICRA’16 Workshop on AI for Long-Term Autonomy was endorsed by the IEEE Technical Committee on Cognitive Robotics (please see endorsement letter in attachment).



  1. Special Issue Call Publication:November 8, 2017
  2. Special Issue Submission Opens: February 17,​ ​2018
  3. Special Issue Submission Closes: February​ ​24,​ ​2018 (same as RAL/IROS)
  4. First Decision Communicated to Authors: ​May​ ​21,​ ​2018
  5. Final Decision Communicated to Authors: July 25,​ ​2018
  6. Accepted RAL Papers appear on Xplore: August 23, ​2018


Conference Option

The​ ​Special​ ​Issue​ ​will​ ​be​ ​associated​ ​with​ ​the​ ​2018​ ​IEEE/RSJ​ ​International​ ​Conference​ ​on​ ​Intelligent Robots​ ​and​ ​Systems​ ​(IROS),​ ​October​ ​1-5,​ ​2018,​ ​Madrid,​ ​Spain​ ​and​ ​accepted​ ​articles​ ​will​ ​be​ ​presented​ ​at the​ ​conference.​ ​Authors​ ​of​ submissions commit that, if ​accepted​ by the IROS Program Committee, they ​will​ ​present the work ​at​ ​IROS. 

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