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The Eighth International Summer School on Screw-Theory Based Methods in Robotics
2-10 December 2017
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia


The 2017 Summer Screws will be held on a new continent, Australia, and in an unusual month, December. Yet, the time and place could not be more appropriate. It is the beginning of the Southern summer, as befits a summer school, in a time window immediately after IFToMM ISRM 2017 (theInternational Symposium on Robotics & Mechatronics) and right before ACRA 2017 (the Australasian Conference on Robotics andAutomation, the premier yearly robotics event in the region), both held in Sydney.

The location, Monash University, and Australia, is uniquely significant for our core subject. It is where nearly 50 years ago Kenneth H. Hunt and his collaborators revitalized and updated screw theory and started applying it to the emerging field of robotics. As a special feature of the 2017 edition, a number of local guest lecturers, including Kenneth Waldron (Stanford and University of Technology Sydney) and Marcus Pandy (University of Melbourne), will talk about the history of screw theory in Australia and the special
role played by Kenneth Hunt, whom they knew well.

Like every year, Summer Screws 2017 will gather a selection of our regular lecturers, all recognized experts in the robotics applications of screw theory, and up to 40 participants at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia from 2-10 December. The school will teach attendees how to apply existing methods and
empower them to develop new ones in their own research. The basic theoretical notions will be introduced in a rigorous manner, with emphasis on examples, applications, and exercises. As usual, invited speakers from the region will briefly present current and recent work.


1. Basic vector-space properties of twists and wrenches: physical interpretation of the linear operations; linear dependence and independence, subspaces; bases and coordinates. Screw systems: geometry and classifications. (Dimiter Zlatanov and Marco Carricato)
2. Scalar products, dual spaces, reciprocity. Constraint and freedom in mechanisms. Constraint analysis, type synthesis of single-loop mechanisms, type synthesis of parallel manipulators. (Xianwen Kong, Dimiter Zlatanov, and Marco Carricato))
3. Velocity and singularity analysis of parallel and interconnected-chain mechanisms. Derivation of input-output velocity equations and singularity conditions. (Matteo Zoppi and Dimiter Zlatanov)
4. Mappings between screw spaces, stiffness and inertia. Structure of robot compliance. Eigenvalue problems and eigenscrews. Synthesis with springs. (Harvey Lipkin and Dimiter Zlatanov)
5. 6D formulation of the dynamics of individual rigid bodies and rigid-body systems. Equations of motion. Dynamics algorithms. (Roy Featherstone and Harvey Lipkin)
6. Basic Lie-group theory, matrix representations of the group of rigid-body displacements. Lie algebras as related to screw theory. The exponential map and its applications in modern robotics. (Jon Selig and Peter Donelan)


Up to 40 registrations are available at the price of 490 AUD.
Registration Deadline is 10 November 2017.

Limited financial support is available.

Summer Screws 2017 is organized by the Laboratory of Motion Generation and Analysis (LMGA) of Monash Univeristy, Melbourne, Australia and the PMARlab Robotics Group of the University of Genoa, Italy with the financial support of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE-RAS).

For more information visit the Summer Screws web page: http://www.summerscrews.org/

This is a call for participation for VVV18, Second International Winter School on Humanoid Robot Programming http://www.icub.org/winterschool/


Autonomous robots are becoming progressively more sophisticated, thanks to the availability of affordable technologies and robust algorithms for perception, control and learning. These technologies are building blocks for the development of systems with cognitive capabilities, able to operate effectively outside controlled environments.

The aim of this school is to give students an overview of the state-of-the-art on the broad field of robotics and teach them the required, practical, skills that allow them to program robots taking advantage of available tools and libraries for perception, control and machine learning. We propose to use humanoid robots are testbeds, because they offer unique opportunities to study many of the problems that are relevant to the field of autonomous systems.


The school is organized as a set of theoretical lectures followed by hands-on sessions using simulators as well as real robots. Students will be challenged with a set of practical assignments and a final project to be carried out in small groups. A set of evening talks by renowned researchers in robotics will complement the main school activities by exposing students to the latest results in the field. Two iCub humanoid robots will be available to the students, equipped with a cluster of computers and GPUs in a dedicated LAN.

Participants are expected to have a background in robotics and computer programming in C/C++. They should also bring their own laptop to attend hands-on sessions.

Topics Covered

  • Software architectures for robot programming (i.e. ROS, YARP)
  • Methods, tools and best practices for software integration and concurrent development
  • Robot kinematics and dynamics for whole body control
  • Robot vision
  • Neuromorphic sensors and event-driven vision
  • Machine Learning and Deep-learning

Invited Talks 

We will host a series of invited talks, confirmed speakers are:
* Michael Zillich, Technische Universitat Wien
* Luis Sentis, University of Texas at Austin
* Katerina Pastra, Cognitive Systems Research Institute
* Rich Walker, Shadow Robot Company


The school will take place at the hotel Metropole in the beautiful town of Santa Margherita Ligure, located on the coast about 35km southeast Genova, Italy.


The school begins in the morning of 6 February 2018 and finishes in the evening of 15 February 2018. Sunday 11 February is free (participants are encouraged to visit Santa Margherita or the riviera nearby).


The school is open to PhD students and Post-Docs, perspective participants should apply following the online instructions http://www.icub.org/winterschool/

Application Deadline

1 November 2017
Places are limited. Notification of acceptance will be made on 21 November 2017.
Discounted fees and travel grants are available for IEEE-RAS members.

Organizing Committee 

* Lorenzo Natale, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Chiara Bartolozzi, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Daniele Pucci, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Vadim Tikhanoff, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Ugo Pattacini, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia


* Chiara Bartolozzi, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Alexander Bernardino, Instituto Superior Técnico
* Bence Magyar, Heriot-Watt University
* Lorenzo Natale, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Ugo Pattacini, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Daniele Pucci, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Lorenzo Rosasco, University of Genova, MIT, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
* Vadim Tikhanof, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia


The school is funded by the Technical Education Program of the of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS).
We also acknowledge support of the following IEEE-RAS technical committees:
* Technical Committee on Cognitive Robotics
* Technical Committee on Humanoid Robotics
* Technical Committee on Software Engineering for Robotics and Automation
* Technical Committee on Whole-Body Control

Further information 

For further information, detailed schedule of the teaching and hands-on sessions please visit the school website http://www.icub.org/winterschool/
or write to Lorenzo Natale (lorenzo.natale _AT_ iit.it)

Hello fellow robotics students! If you are planning to attend IROS 2017 in Vancouver at the end of September, be sure to take part in the fantastic RAS Student Activities Committee offerings throughout the conference!

Student Lounge

Come hang out with fellow students, take a break from the conference bustle, or prepare for your presentation all while enjoying a warm cup of coffee. The student lounge will be open Monday, 25 September and Wednesday, 27 September from 10:00-12:00 in Room 305.

Lunch with Leaders

Be sure to register for this unique lunch which takes place Tuesday, 26 September. You will have the chance to sit down with RAS leaders in a casual setting with open table discussions. This is your chance to ask real advice from top roboticists but space is limited so don’t wait! For more information seehttp://www.ieee-ras.org/about-ras/ras-calendar/event/1303-ras-lunch-with-leaders-lwl-for-students-at-iros

Scavenger Hunt

If you are looking for a fun challenge or need a little help meeting fellow students and robotics leaders while navigating IROS, the SAC Scavenger Hunt is just for you! Sign-up now at (https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/0cb766c0756a4684a0b03d719e45f32e) and you will be emailed a list of challenges at the start of the conference. Post your pictures on social media to collect points and snap your way to the top for fun prizes!

RAS Student Activities.fw

Even if you are not travelling to Vancouver, you can still enjoy some of the IROS fun with our monthly Facebook Photo Challenges! Our second month of challenges will kick off 13 September with “Which Robot Wednesday” followed by “Trivia Thursday” and “Funny Foto Friday” in the subsequent weeks. All three challenges will promote the IROS theme of, “Friendly People, Friendly Robots”. Be sure to follow us on Facebook - answer the challenge correctly and you’ll be entered to win cool prizes from RAS!

Hello roboticist friends!  Are you planning to attend IROS 2017?  Are you looking for robotics-related employment opportunities?  IEEE RAS is excited to announce the Access to Talent Program which will be organized in conjunction with IEEE/RJS IROS 2017.  The EXPO which accompanies the IROS conference is targeted at the robotics industry, providing an excellent opportunity for employers to showcase their company and to conduct on-site interviews with prospective employees.  Building on this conference staple, the Access to Talent Program is aimed at better connecting companies with job-seeking roboticists.

Conference attendees interested in participating in the Access to Talent can upload their contact information and resume/CV to a database which will be made available to sponsoring companies.  Interested companies then have the opportunity to conduct on-site interviews or may follow up with prospective employees.  If you are interested in participating, go to the IROS Careerfair website and click on the "Create Account or Reset Password" link where you will be asked to provide an email address.  Further instructions on setting up a password will be sent to you so you can complete the log-in process.  Once you have logged in, click on "Create" and fill out the application as instructed.

IROS Gold and Silver level companies will have access to the database one week before the conference while other sponsors, exhibitors, and career fair companies will receive access to the database at the beginning of the conference.  Companies can search the database for potential employees and will have access to conference space to conduct on-site interviews.

For more information, plese contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Too late to make plans for IROS 2017?  No worries!  We are working to include the Access to Talent Program into all RAS flagship conferences and are already assured of offering it at ICRA 2018!

The results are in for the inaugural Student Activities Committee (SAC) Scavenger Hunt Challenge!

RAS Booth

Students attending ICRA 2017 in Singapore had the opportunity to participate in a fun picture scavenger hunt. On the first day of the conference teams of 2-3 students were emailed a "secret" list of photo challenges. Throughout the five day event, teams took photos of each other demonstrating their achievments. Tasks ranged from shaking hands with RAS leadership, visiting local sights near the conference venue, to doing funny poses.


First Place: Mustafa Doga Dogan (Turkey) and Tobias Benz (Germany)
Second Place: Anqi Li (USA), Sasanka Nagavalli (USA), Wenhao Luo (USA)
Third Place: Alex Klootwijk (Netherlands) and Rens Doornbusch (Netherlands)

Congratulations to the winners and Thanks to All Participants for making this a fun event!

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