IEEE and IEEE Standards Association have just launched a groundbreaking report to take ethical implementation of autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS) worldwide from principles to practice! The First Edition of this important work "Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems" is available NOW!

Ethically Aligned Design

The Chair of this initiative is Raja Chatila, Past President of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS). Many other RAS members served as sub group Chairs, individual contributors and subject matter experts. Thanks to their hard work and persistance, the First Edition has become a reality! CONGRATULATIONS to ALL involved!

If you are not already involved in The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, we invite you to join the open community of over 2,000 global experts focused on cutting edge ethical and values-driven issues in autonomous and intelligent systems and in moving principles to practical application. Join to receive our regular newsletter, announcements, and to get an invitation into our private EAD community.

The Mission and Results of The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems is to ensure every stakeholder involved in the design and development of autonomous and intelligent systems is educated, trained, and empowered to prioritize ethical considerations so that these technologies are advanced for the benefit of humanity.

To advance toward this goal, The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems brought together more than a thousand participants from six continents who are thought leaders from academia, industry, civil society, policy, and government in the related technical and humanistic disciplines to identify and find consensus on timely issues surrounding autonomous and intelligent systems.

By “stakeholder” we mean anyone involved in the research, design, manufacture, or messaging around intelligent and autonomous systems—including universities, organizations, governments, and corporations—all of which are making these technologies a reality for society.

Please visit the following more information about this publication, to request the First Edition, and to get involved in future work:

https://ethicsinaction.ieee.org/?utm_campaign=EAD1e&utm_medium=alias&utm_source=LI&utm_content=report

New this year! In an effort to assist our Members and conference Attendees with the challenges of communicating to the non-engineering community, a series of courses will be offered at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA 2019) 20-24 May 2019 in Montreal, Canada. This collaboration with the IEEE Professional Communications Society is sure to be a valuable experience for all participants. While initially created to benefit our Students and Young Professionals, this course would benefit participants in all stages of their careers. 

All events are FREE for ICRA registrants. Please see the course descriptions below and sign up today!

Lunch and Learn Keynote
Tuesday, 21 May 2019 in room 519
12:15-13:30

“How to Talk to the Public about Science and Technology: Learning from Failure”

Starting with a few brief but notable cases of science communication failures, we will work towards some key challenges for communicating effectively with the public. Through these failures, we examine some of the assumptions about the non-expert audience implied by the Deficit Model – a prominent but outdated and problematic model of scientific communication. Specifically, we interrogate the idea that the “public” is homogenous, with similar goals, background knowledge, and purposes for learning about technology. Acknowledging this, we introduce the idea of “Framing Science,” a concept that came to prominence in a 2007 Science editorial by Chris Mooney and Matthew Nisbet. They argue that in order to communicate effectively with the public, scientists and researchers need to do more than learn techniques for “dumbing-down” or “translating" their research while maintaining accuracy: they need to find ways to make complex topics more personally relevant. Without these connections, nonexpert audiences will not be compelled to learn about and understand technical information.

Returning to these case studies, we lay out key strategies for:
(1) understanding an audience’s needs and background;
(2) finding relevant approaches to engage non-experts; and finally,
(3) deploying the right rhetorical techniques (eg. narrative, metaphor, etc.) to communicate within that framework.

We will close by demonstrating how these techniques parallel those used by science journalists, and invite the audience to our workshops, where we’ll help them craft key messages about their own work.

**Registration is NOT required for this Lunch & Learn, however seating is limited. Mark your calendars to attend this important session!

**Lunch will be available in room 519 at the start of the session.

 

Communications Workshop: 
“Theory to Action: Crafting Messages for the Public about your own Research”

Presenters: Lydia Wilkinson and Alan Chong
This 3 hour workshop follows up on the Lunch and Learn keynote with a brief review of the concepts, followed by a set of activities designed to get attendees thinking and developing a message about their own research for the public in multiple ways.

Class size will be limited to 35 registrants for each class.
Register today for ONE of the following classes (same workshop offered 4 different times) by completing the online Registration Form:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/197e3c778bd4400aab8e2004360b1fc9

Thursday, 23 May from 9:00-12:30 in room 523
Thursday, 23 May from 13:30-17:00 in room 523
Friday, 24 May from 9:00-12:30 in room 522a
Friday, 24 May from 13:30-17:00 in room 523

1. Imagining an Audience and Framing their Work: (30 minutes)
We first ask attendees to imagine the characteristics of an imagined audience, focusing on why they would want to learn about the topic at hand and what they would need to know. For this imagined audience, we ask that they develop a brief message about their research (1-2 paragraphs). With a partner, we ask them to share the message and, importantly, the rationale behind their message, and discuss the success/failure of their message. This activity will highlight the importance of crafting a message for a specific audience, and will provide attendees with strategies to analyze their audience in future communication.
2. Developing a “Pitch”: (60 minutes)
Using the feedback from the previous exercise as a starting point, we will ask attendees to reconfigure their message for an audience who might support or invest in their research. We will use the genre of the “elevator pitch” to highlight rhetorical strategies to persuade a non-expert audience. We will ask individuals to develop a short one-minute pitch, deliver that pitch within a small group, and critique that pitch for others. This activity will emphasize the value of concision and persuasion in delivering a message to non-experts, and will provide attendees with a simple tool to hone their message at home.
3. Analogy / Metaphor: (20 minutes)
Having explained the rhetorical structure, components, and function of analogy, we will ask participants to develop an analogy explaining some aspect of their work, including identifying the source and target, and grounds and tension. In small groups, they’ll share and critique their analogies and reflect on their efficacy in communicating to non-expert audiences. This activity will provide participants with an understanding of how rhetorical tools can be used to achieve certain communication goals, laying a foundation for their use in their communicative practice.
4. Employing a Journalistic Framework: (60 Minutes)
In the final activity, we will ask participants to imagine themselves as journalists writing about their own research. We explain the PINTS (Peg-Interesting-Novel-Tension-Significance) model, and ask groups of four to choose their own research (or a predetermined paper from the Robotics and Automation) field, and write a short article that satisfies PINTS requirements for a specific publication (and its implied audience and purpose). Sharing the articles will provide us with an opportunity to examine strategies to engage and inform non-expert audiences, while maintaining scientific accuracy.

At the end of this workshop, participants should have a set of communication artifacts – in varying stages of completion – that have allowed them to: (1) engage with their own research and (2) experiment with multiple techniques for communicating to non-experts. With these experiences in hand, we hope they leave with a better understanding of key issues and strategies for communicating with non-experts in multiple modes and contexts.

Course Presenters

L Wilkinson

 Lydia Wilkinson is a Lecturer in the Engineering Communication Program (ECP) in the Institute for Studies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education and Practice (ISTEP) at the University of Toronto. She coordinates communication in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she supports student success by connecting classroom learning to current engineering projects and their future workplace. She teaches communication at the graduate level through a research course in Chemical Engineering, as well as an optional seminar in career options for PhDs. Lydia’s research investigates interdisciplinary skills transfer with a specific focus on humanities integration for engineers.

A Chong

 Alan Chong is an Associate Professor, Teaching in the Engineering Communication Program (ECP) in the Institute for Studies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education and Practice (ISTEP) at the University of Toronto. He coordinates communication instruction in Civil and Mineral Engineering, helping students develop their communication skills within various academic and industrial settings. He also teaches proposal and thesis writing to undergraduate and graduate students. Alan’s research interest involves developing opportunities for civic engagement among undergraduate engineering students and in Science Communication pedagogy, particularly around the development of case studies; he also serves as the IEEE Professional Communication Society’s Digital Content Curator.

Anyone who is involved in organizing an IEEE or RAS conference, large or small, or is thinking about organizing a conference is encouraged to attend. Get answers to your questions about the organization, requirements, logistics and finances of conferences, both large and small. Speak with the experts for advice on how to make sure your conference is executed flawlessly!

RAS will be presenting a FREE Conference Organizers Workshop during the IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA 20199). The workshop will take place on Tuesday, 21 May from 13:30-16:30 in room 522a at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montreal, Canada. 

ICRA plenary

Preliminary Agenda

1. Welcome and Opening Remarks – Torsten Kroeger
2. Conference Committee Roles and Responsibilities – Torsten Kroeger/ Karinne Ramirez Amaro
3. Getting Started (Requesting Sponsorship & Conference Application) – Helge Wurdemann
4. Conference Publications/Video Capture – Zhidong Wang
5. Managing a Technical Program – Seth Hutchinson
6. Conference Finance (Budgeting through Conference Closing) – Venkat Krovi/ Helge Wurdemann
7. Event Logistics Planning and Execution – Kelly Smith / Torsten Kroeger
8. Working with IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events – Kelly Smith

Space is limited, so we encourage you to register as soon as your availability is confirmed.

Registration

Please register for this FREE workshop online:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/2d9e465601774246a8826c4f0a823d3c

To register by email or ask questions, please contact:  RAS@ieee.org

Additional information here

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society - Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT) is engaging the academic and non-academic community to propose viable solutions in R&A to address relevant world problems through several initiatives that include competitions, funding impactful projects, and establishment of collaboration networks with academia, industry, and governments. The mission of RAS-SIGHT is the application of robotics and automation 
technologies for promoting humanitarian causes around the globe, and to leverage existing and emerging technologies for the benefit of humanity in under-served, under-developed areas in collaboration with existing global communities and organizations.

RAS-SIGHT’s activities broadly fall under Challenges and Projects. While Challenges are intended to advance the state-of-the-art in robotics and automation and provide a platform for researchers and developers to participate in a group setting working towards addressing problems with a humanitarian slant, Projects facilitate communities and associated organizations to work closely with robotics and automation researchers to elevate the quality of life for the residents of communities across the globe. RAS-SIGHT envisions Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenges (HRATCs) as an unprecedented opportunity for technologists from around the world to collaborate using their skills and education to benefit humanity. The problems (challenges) are framed with the environmental, cultural, structural, political, socio-economic, and resource constraints so that solutions can be developed, deployed, and sustained.

In this vein, RAS-SIGHT is soliciting proposals that when implemented would improve the quality of life for the beneficiaries. ***To date, 21 projects have been funded***. A listing of previously completed and currently running projects are available from http://ieee-ras.org/ras-sight/projects ('Digests' provide a 1-page summary and 'Reports' (for completed projects) provide more details).

Some important points worth noting:

  • The problem that you propose to solve should utilize robotics and/or automation technologies
  • It is strongly encouraged that the solution be developed and deployed with active involvement from the community or the end-users that it is intended to benefit
  • Sustainability beyond the completion of the project will be a key consideration

If you are interested, please submit a 4 page (max.) proposal in the standard IEEE conference format outlining:

  • the problem,
  • the solution,
  • related work, similar initiatives, and how the proposed project will achieve new results than what is currently available,
  • proposed partnerships with existing initiatives,
  • number of people who would be impacted,
  • previous experiences, both in terms of applied research and deployment,
  • project development timeline,
  • breakdown of anticipated costs, and how the funds would be used to support the project, and
  • short biographies of project members (with URLs of respective websites)

We anticipate to fund proposals in the US$2500-$5000 range from all Regions of IEEE. Please note that the awarded funds cannot be used to support wages or salaries of personnel or for supporting theoretical research. All submissions should be sent to Raj Madhavan, Chair, RAS-SIGHT at <raj.madhavan@ieee.org>.

Important Dates

22 April 2019 - Submission Deadline
10 May 2019 - Acceptance Notifications

Additional information is available from:

Automation Industry’s Most Prestigious Honor to be presented at Automate 2019 in Chicago, IL USA on 10 April.

At a special dinner in conjunction with the Automate 2019 Show and Conference in Chicago on 10 April, RIA will honor Dr. Howie Choset, robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University and co-founder of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute.

2019 Engelberger Robotics Award Recipient

howie choset

Howie Choset, IEEE and RAS Fellow, will receive the award for Education. In addition to being an inspiring professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Choset has lead key research efforts to help solve significant problems in diverse areas such as surgery, manufacturing, infrastructure inspection and search rescue. Additionally, he has co-founded several companies, including Medrobotics for surgical system, Hebi Robotics for modular robots, and Bito Robotics for autonomous guided vehicles. His FDA-approved surgical snake robot has been in use in the U.S. and Europe since 2015. Add to that his role as a co-founder of the ARM Institute that is aimed at advancing technology development and education for robotics in manufacturing, and his role as a founding editor of the journal Science Robotics, and you see that Dr. Choset is well-deserving of industry’s highest honor.

 

Engelberger Robotics Award

The award is named for Joseph F. Engelberger, known throughout the world as the ”father of robotics.” Engelberger was founder and president of Unimation, Inc., the world's first industrial robot manufacturer. The Engelberger Robotics Awards are presented to individuals for excellence in technology development, application, education and leadership in the robotics industry. Each winner receives a $5,000 honorarium and commemorative medallion with the inscription: "Contributing to the advancement of the science of robotics in the service of mankind." The awards recognize outstanding individuals from all over the world. Since the award’s inception in 1977, it has been bestowed upon 128 robotics leaders from 17 different nations.

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