The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society membership will elect six new members of the Administrative Committee in 2021, each to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2022. The AdCom is the governing body of the Society.

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AdCom members must attend two formal meetings each year, one in conjunction with ICRA and the other usually in October/November in conjunction with another major conference. Each AdCom member is expected to serve on at least two boards and/or committees of the Society.


Any higher-grade member of the Society is eligible to serve and all higher-grade members plus graduate students may nominate candidates and vote.


To nominate a candidate or offer yourself as a candidate, contact the Society at by 1 May 2021.


Candidates may also petition to be on the ballot. All persons who, by the deadline, submit petitions with valid signatures and IEEE member numbers with at least 2% of the year-end voting membership will be placed on the ballot. Only original signatures on paper or electronic signatures submitted through the RAS petition website will be accepted. Faxed or emailed signatures are NOT acceptable. Contact the Society at to obtain a paper petition form or to set up an electronic petition.

Completed petitions must be received by 1 May 2021 to be placed on the ballot.


The Nominations Committee will consider all nominations and petitions and select the candidates to be placed on the ballot.

dataset contest

The IEEE DataPort Spring Dataset Upload Contest is now open! Entering is easy: upload datasets of any file type up to 2TB in March or April to be eligible to win an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.

The dataset upload contest is designed to encourage authors and researchers to bring their research to the forefront of the global technical community through IEEE DataPort. Anyone who uploads a dataset to IEEE DataPort between 1 March 2021 at 12:00 am EST and 30 April 2021 at 11:59 pm EDT, will also have the opportunity to enter the spring dataset upload contest for a chance to win the prizes listed below.

When uploading standard or open access datasets to IEEE DataPort during this time, users will be prompted to review and agree to the official rules of the contest. If you agree, that’s all you need to do to enter! 

For more information-

Are you an author of one of the 2000+ papers declined by ICRA? Please remember there are three other conferences with deadlines in March. Most of you are aware of the submission deadline for RSS 2021 (1 March) and IROS 2021 (5 March), but you may not be aware that the deadline for the IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE 2021) is 15 March.

IEEE CASE, the annual Conference on Automation Science and Engineering, is a major IEEE conference that is one of three fully-supported IEEE conferences in our field (with ICRA and IROS). In 2021, CASE will be held 23-27 August. It will be hybrid, with a live component in Lyon France and an online component:
"To meet the demand of the scientific community for stimulating exchanges and a real conference experience for young researchers, CASE2021 aims to be primarily a face-to-face conference with online participation for those who cannot travel to Lyon."

IEEE CASE was founded in 2006 so is smaller but growing quickly. The acceptance rate for the last CASE was about 56%, slightly higher than ICRA 2021 (48%), IROS, and RSS. IEEE CASE continues the classic conference model of featuring a 10-15 min oral presentation of each paper in contrast to poster sessions. This is particularly exciting for students, who get the valuable experience of lecturing and fielding questions in front of an audience of peers. IEEE CASE also has a tradition of spotlighting papers nominated for awards such as Best Paper, Best Student Paper, etc. Each nominated paper is presented in special single session track on Day 1, where everyone at the conference attends and there is a lively Q&A led by judges.

Good luck with Plan B and hope to see you at one or more of these conferences!


The IEEE Technical Committee on the Verification of Autonomous Systems invites you to attend our monthly online Seminar Series. The next seminar will take place on March 9:00 EST14:00 GMT. The program is as follows:

Tom Freund, "Urban Air Mobility: Verifying trust"

Liren Yang, "Synthesis-guided Adversarial Example Generation for Gray-box Autonomous Systems with Sensing Imperfections"


We are currently holding a monthly Verification of Autonomous Systems Seminar Series via Zoom on the first Thursday of each month.  If you would like to receive invitations and information about this series, please SIGN UP to be a part of our Technical Committee. 

Our online seminar series features presentations from TC members at both introductory and advanced levels.  If you would like to present, please contact the TC Co-Chairs for more information.

The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society recognizes and congratulates the following individuals for their outstanding accomplishments and service to RAS and the robotics and automation community. They will be honored during a virtaul award ceremony, to be held during the IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA 2021) in early June. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding recipients!


Special Issue on the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE2020)

The 16th annual IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2020) was held on August 20-21, 2020, virtually, jointly organized by HKU (The University of Hong Kong) and HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). IEEE CASE is the flagship automation conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and constitutes the primary forum for crossindustry and multidisciplinary research in automation. Its goal is to provide a broad coverage and dissemination of foundational research in automation among researchers, academics, and practitioners. It was the first time the CASE conference was held online (through Zoom meetings), due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of the conference was Automation Analytics. The technical program included 2 keynote speeches, 5 workshops and over 250 presentations split into several parallel sessions. This special issue is by invitation only.

Congratulations to the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society members recently elevated to Senior Member status by the IEEE Admission and Advancement Senior Member Review Panel.

Small-Scale Robotics inside the Human Body

Robots can aid the physician in several aspects: assisting diagnostic and surgery, performing a biopsy,Robots can aid the physician in several aspects: assisting diagnostic and surgery, performing a biopsy,dispensing medication, visualizing enclosed spaces inside the body, etc. More recently, there has been a rising interest in the miniaturization of these robots for less and less invasive or even non-invasive surgery. These miniaturized medical robots will allow making it possible to break down certain barriers related to the size and accessibility of some areas of the human body (vessels, arteries, deep intrapulmonary pathways, etc.). Such systems may provide many advantages, such as limited invasiveness, reduced trauma, or carrying outoperations beyond the limits of the human precision or sensing abilities.

Join the RAS Technical Committee on Soft Robotics in upcoming debates and participate with different controversial topics in Soft Robotics, such as future and potential impact, real-world deployment, morphological computation vs. traditional control methods, etc., are frequent subject of debates. General community can benefit from making these debates more formal and publicly available. Debates are 80 minutes long with 4-6 participants and a moderator from recognized experts in the field.

Upcoming Event: 

"Bioinspired vs. Biohybrid Design"

3rd debate

virtual education


IEEE RAS Summer School on Reproducible Research, Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking in Robotics 2021- Virtual Preparation Event

Date: 1-5 February 2021

Location: Free virtual event

Congratulations to all International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2020) award recipients! Due to the virtual nature of the event, we are saddened that these individuals could not be recognized in person.

IROS Toshio Fukuda Young Professional Award

“For contributions to the advancement of MRI guided robotic systems”

IROS Best Paper Award 

SwingBot: Learning Physical Features from In-Hand Tactile Exploration for Dynamic Swing-Up Manipulation
Chen Wang, Shaoxiong Wang, Branden Romero, Filipe Fernandes Veiga and Edward Adelson

IROS Best Student Paper Award 

Computational Design of Balanced Open Link Planar Mechanisms with Counterweights from User Sketches
Takuto Takahashi, Hiroshi G. Okuno, Shigeki Sugano, Stelian Coros and Bernhard Thomaszewski

Congratulations to all award recipients of IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2020)! Due to the virtual nature of the event, we are saddened that these individuals could not be recognized in person.

IEEE CASE Best Conference Paper Award

Long-Short Term Spatiotemporal Tensor Prediction for Passenger Flow Profile
Ziyue Li, Hao Yan, Chen Zhang, and Fugee Tsung

IEEE CASE Best Application Paper Award

A system for human-in-the-loop simulation of industrial collaborative robot applications
Maximilian Metzner, Daniel Utsch, Walter Matthias, Christian Hofstetter, Christina Ramer, Andreas Blank, and Jörg Franke

IEEE CASE Best Student Paper Award: TWO Recipients this Year!

Large-Workspace and High-Resolution Magnetic Microrobot Navigation Using Global-Local Path Planning and Eye-in-Hand Visual Servoing
Lidong Yang and Li Zhang

Simulating Polyculture Farming to Learn Automation Policies for Plant Diversity and Precision Irrigation
Yahav Avigal, Jensen Gao, William Wong, Kevin Li, Grady Pierroz, Fang Shuo Deng, Mark Theis, Mark Presten and Ken Goldberg

Congratulations to all award recipients of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2020)! Due to the virtual nature of the event, we are saddened that these individuals could not be recognized in person. A complete RAS and ICRA Award brochure is available. It also contains IEEE and RAS Award recipients, plus all ICRA Best Paper Award Finalists.

Congratulations to the six RAS members elected by the membership to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2021. 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. 


IEEE/IFR Innovation & Entrepreneurship Award for Outstanding Achievements in Commercializing Innovative Robot and Automation Technology  

IEEE/IFR Joint Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation (IERA)  June 2021 

Deadline for applications: 28 February 2021  

In the field of human-robot interaction, robot autonomy and intuitiveness are usually conflictual design requirements. The amount of physical and cognitive effort requested to the user in executing a task is determined by the robot autonomy level. To enable the operator to physically interact with robots in an intuitive and unobtrusive way, the robot may need to adapt its autonomy level seamlessly while performing a complex task.

Nowadays, research on shared autonomy systems is playing a relevant role in a wide spectrum of robotic applications ranging from surgical to industrial robotics. Recently, the availability of datasets and the advancement of machine learning techniques have enabled enhanced flexibility of shared autonomy systems that are now capable of providing contextual or personalized assistance and seamless adaption of the autonomy level. However, this desirable trend raises new challenges for safety and stability certification of shared autonomy robotic systems, thus requiring new advanced control methods to implement the continuously evolving division of roles.

The 2020 Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics & Automation (IERA) goes to Photoneo’s high resolution MotionCam-3D. This 3D scanner captures quick moving objects and delivers the sharpest eyes in the world for industrial robots.

“The jury is pleased to announce the selection of Photoneo’s Motion Cam-3D as the winner of the 16th IERA Award,” says Jury Chair Robert Ambrose from IEEE-RAS. “The award celebrates the combination of innovative concepts with entrepreneurial efforts to bring those ideas to market. This year’s winner is a novel 3D imaging system merging the benefits of both stereo vision with structured light approaches to yield a fast and accurate perception system with applications in society and industry.”

Eyes for robots that spot submillimeters

"MotionCam-3D gives eyes to robots with the highest resolution and accuracy in the world” said Jan Zizka, CEO of Bratislava-based maker Photoneo. "Our camera is able to inspect objects moving as fast as 140 kilometres per hour. Its qualities are useful in various fields: e.g. in e commerce and logistics, for object sorting and autonomous delivery systems. The camera also helps in food processing and waste sorting as well as harvesting in agriculture. Thanks to accurate machine vision, robots can also analyse objects with high resolution images, which is important in quality control”.


Recent events, such as the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, have shown the extreme importance of industrial  processes that are fully or partially automated, thus allowing the production and the work in (smart) factories during  events that can affect the production. In the smart factory, robots - which are becoming more and more advanced  and adaptive to the surrounding environment and to external stimuli and which have improved their mobility and  their learning capacity - can be employed in more difficult and demanding tasks such as quality control and process  automation. The deployment of Automation and Robotics and of I4.0 key technologies in smart disassembly,  recycling and enhancing waste materials obtained from production processes is radically changing the way to  conceive and manufacture products and at the same time it is enhancing workers’ safety and health conditions. 


Don't delay! Nominations are due 15 January 2021 for the 2022 IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation (TFA). This is the most prestigious award presented by IEEE in the field of robotics and automation, and includes a medal and a $10,000 usd honorarium. IEEE TFAs are awarded for contributions or leadership in a specific field of interest of the IEEE and are among the highest awards presented on behalf of the IEEE Board of Directors.


TFA Medal Image 5 April.fw

Visit for a description of the award criteria and instructions on submitting a nomination.

The 2021 IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation will be presented to Tomas Lozano-Perez and Jean-Claude Latombe,
"For foundational contributions to robot motion planning and visionary leadership of the field." 

The presentation will take place at the Awards Ceremony held during during the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Prague, Czech Republic on 27 September-1 October 2021.

ram issue cover dec 2020

We are pleased to offer you the December 2020 issue of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine!

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