Any IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine (RAM) paper, may be presented at either an upcoming IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) or an upcoming IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), provided most of the key ideas of the paper have never appeared at a conference with a published proceedings (i.e., the paper is a "new" paper and not the evolved version of a previous conference paper or papers). 

  • To be eligible for ICRA 20xx+1, your paper’s final accepted manuscript must be submitted to RAM for proofing between 1 January 20xx and 31 December 20xx.
  • To be eligible for IROS 20xx+1, your paper’s final accepted manuscript must be submitted to RAM for proofing between 1 May 20xx and 3-0 April 20xx+1.

In summary, if your final manuscript is submitted between 1 January and 30 April of 20xx, it meets the date criteria for IROS 20xx and ICRA 20xx+1. If your final manuscript is submitted between 1 May and 31 December of 20xx, it meets the date criteria for ICRA 20xx+1 and IROS 20xx+1.

Authors may not request any acceleration or delay of the review process based on these criteria.

Authors of eligible papers will be contacted by the RAM Editor-in-Chief’s office, typically in April/May or December/January, to determine interest in presenting at a conference.  Eligible papers may only be presented at one conference.

Since September 2017 IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine solicits R-articles (i.e., papers that report experiments aiming to be fully reproducible), short articles reporting on the replication of r-Article results, and author short article replies, see [5].

All papers are peer reviewed. The result will be a two stage very high-quality review process. The first stage will be the ordinary rigorous review process of a top-tier publishing venue. The second stage will be the replication of the experiments by the community (what is usually the core of the scientific method).

Cover letter

The authors will have to explicitly declare in the cover letter, if their article aims to be considered for publication as Reproducible Article (R-Article), as a short article illustrating the replication of other authors’ results (a ‘r-article’, or a short reply by the authors of a reproduced experiment.

It is the responsibility of the authors to publish all the necessary information to make their results reproducible.

What to put in a RAM R-Article

The authors will have to share whatever they believe is necessary and sufficient to reproduce their results and confirm that in the cover letter.

Minimum Requirements

  1. A description. i.e., an almost ordinary journal article with text, figures, and multimedia, complying at a minimum with the good experimental methodology (GEM) guidelines, [1], or similar.
  2. data sets stored in Code Ocean [2], IEEE Dataport  [3], GitHub [4]  or other suitable platform (to be agreed with RAM EIC and Reproducibility editor), and all the necessary information tests that have been run; only in well­ justified special cases will we accept different sharing platforms; videos of experiments should not be considered as data sets, but as multimedia attachments if they are not actually part of the data elaborated by some algorithm in the robot software. The statistical measures of confidence (such as ‘p-values’) of the results must be spelled out clearly, calculated and being retrieved on the datasets
  3. complete code identifiers and preferably downloadable code (executable files might in some cases be enough) on Code Ocean —the algorithms as they have been coded and all necessary library and middleware information. The storage on other suitable platforms must be agreed with RAM EIC and Reproducibility editor.
  4. a hardware (HW) description or HW identifier (we need to know the physical details of the robots to be able to repeat robotics experiments); by HW description, we mean the full design (at the level of detail necessary for replication) of the robot or robots used in the experiment.

The information in (1-2) and any other the authors deem necessary for reproducing their results must be stored in a specific pdf file as ‘additional online materials.’

It is important that the code and HW are well identified to be able to replicate experiments.

  1. Is it an experimental paper?
  2. Are the system assumptions/hypotheses clear
  3. Are the evaliuation criteria spelled out explicitly?
  4. What is being measured and how?
  5. Do the methods and measurements match the criteria?
  6. Is there enough information to reproduce the work?
  7. Do the results obtained give a fair and realistic picture of the system being studied?
  8. Are the drawn conclusions precise and valid?

The Euron GEM guidelines in a nutshell [1]. The guidelines were meant as an adaptation of the basics of the scientific method to robotics and AI.

Typical structure of an R-Article 

R-articles should be organized in three parts:

  1. Magazine Article: It provides a ‘magazine style overview of the published research like any typical RAM article.  It should convey   the general ideas, motivation, relevance and obtained results. 
  2. Supplemental Information: It provides an extended version of the magazine article. It describes, with sufficient details to allow to reproduce the work, Materials and Methods, Results and their analytical Discussion. The description of the research must be in accordance with the Euron GEM Guidelines [1]. It must provide the user guide for reproducing the results. It will be uploaded as a Multimedia Attachment (this may change in the future),
  3. Data, Code and Design Repository: an online repository on  IEEE  DataPort , [3],or Github, [4],   includes  all  the  data,  code  and, if they are open sourced, the  hardware designs of the robots involved in the research, if they are not, the necessary information to clearly identify the hardware used for the experiments. All additional details  necessary  and  sufficient to reproduce the experiments must be given. If the published research includes simulations, authors are recommended to store code and data allowing the simulation experiments to be reproduced online on Codeocean, [2].

The R-Article Life Cycle

It will be possible to publish a short article about the result replication of an R-­article, what we call an r-article (non-capitalized r).

Similarly, the authors of the original R-­article will be able to submit, in the form of a short peer reviewed article, a Reply to the authors of the r­-article, we will call this a Reply article.

All these articles will have the same minimum requirements as the R-articles.

Peer Review, Data and Code Consistency Check

All articles above will be peer reviewed like any other RAM article and will undergo a quick data and code consistency check.

Difference with publishing your data and code for a standard peer-reviewed article

Publishing an R-article on RAM is not the same that publishing on another journal and sharing code and data. An R-article is specifically peer-reviewed also from the point of view of its reproducibility. Moreover, it enters into the research reproducibility process described above. This is a unique opportunity at the time of writing these guidelines 



[1]        F. Bonsignorio, J. Hallam, A. P. del Pobil, Eds. (2008). GEM guidelines: Euron GEM Sig report. [On­ line]. Available: http://www.heronrobots.com/ EuronGEMSig/downloads/GemSigGuidelines Beta.pdf

[2]        CodeOcean. Discover and run scientific code. [Online]. Available: http://www.codeocean.com

[3]        IEEE DataPort: Dataset Storage and Dataset Search Platform. [Online]. Available:

http://ieee-dataport.org 

[4]        Github. [Online]. Available: http://www.codeocean.com

[5]        F. Bonsignorio, "A New Kind of Article for Reproducible Research in Intelligent Robotics [From the Field]," in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 178-182, Sept. 2017, doi: 10.1109/MRA.2017.2722918.

PIN and Login Alias

To log in to the IEEE RAM and review system authors, reviewers and editorial staff need a PIN (Personal Identification Number) and a password. IEEE RAM uses the people database of the RAS Conference system so if you have a PIN in this database then you may use this to log in to IEEE RAM. If you already have a PIN and password then follow the link Log in. If you do not remember your PIN or password, or you are not sure if you have a PIN, then follow the link PIN.

  1. Use the PIN Wizard to check very carefully if you already have a PIN.
  2. If you do have a PIN but you do not have your password, then request that the password be sent to you.
  3. If your e-mail address for the PIN is out of date and you cannot receive the password, then do not register a new PIN but request that your e-mail address is updated and your password be sent to you at the updated e-mail address.
  4. Only register a new PIN if you are completely sure that you do not already have one.

Generally only authors who are new to the system will need to register a new PIN. We strongly recommend against registering multiple PINs. If you use the update function of the PIN wizard you may set up a Login alias. You may use this to log in instead of your PIN. You may also change your password as you like. However, when you submit a paper you will still need the PIN.

Color

Authors are encouraged to submit high quality, high resolution color photographs and illustrations when appropriate. The magazine is printed in full color and there is no additional cost to authors for the use of color. Copyright information and photo credit information must be provided for all photographs used in any IEEE publications.

Page Charges

A mandatory page charge is imposed on all Regular Papers whose length exceeds 9 Magazine pages, and this is difficult to estimate since the articles are typeset by the IEEE.

This charge is $250 per page for each page over the first nine based, and with a maximum 7 extra pages, and is a prerequisite for publication. Note that the editor-in-chief can exercise some limited discretion in this regard. Aim for text under 4500 words and a short bibliography of less than 20 references. Do not skimp on images, they are key to the magazine style.

Abstract

Articles in the magazine, unlike the transactions, do not have an abstract. However, we do need an abstract as part of the metadata on IEEE Xplore, so we will use the abstract you provide or the first paragraph of the article. This is what you see on the summary page for your article in Xplore.

Posting Papers on Your Own Website

IEEE policy retains substantial rights for authors to post on their personal sites and their institutions' servers, but only the accepted versions of their papers, not the published versions as might be downloaded from IEEE XploreClick here for details on the policy. See also the details of IEEE policy on the SHERPA RoMEO site where you can compare IEEE's policy with that of many other publishers.

Multimedia Extensions in IEEE Xplore

The Magazine allows multimedia attachments to the paper which are available, along with the PDF article, on IEEE Xplore. Multimedia can be "playable" files (.mpeg, .avi, .wav, .mov, .midi, etc.) or "dataset" files (e.g., raw data with programs to manipulate them). Such material is intended to enhance the contents of a paper, both in clarity and in added value.

  • IEEE provides guidelines for the submission of multimedia, ranging from the format to the description of content and of use requirements, and the way this material should be referenced in the body of the paper. General guidelines include:
  • The paper should be self-contained, i.e., fully readable and understandable independently from the multimedia material.
  • Videos should be prepared without using special codecs (coders/decoders) plug-ins and allowing portability under various platforms. Accordingly, the most common media formats are strongly recommended rather than their latest versions.
  • Only freely available media players (e.g., QuickTime, RealPlayer, Microsoft Windows Media Player) should be required by users.
  • A "ReadMe.txt" file (in ASCII text format) should accompany the multimedia, describing:
  • Minimum requirements for the user. In particular, provide the version of the software that is required to play/run the submitted files. Include the name of the software, the version number, and any special requirements for the player.
  • Contact Information. The author should provide contact information in case users have questions regarding the multimedia material (IEEE will not provide any technical support for this).
  • A "Summary.txt" file (in ASCII text format) should also be prepared, describing in 5 sentences or less the contents or value of the multimedia object.

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) Author Names

IEEE supports the publication of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) author names in the native language alongside the English versions of the names in the author list of an article. For more information, please visit the IEEE Author Digital Tool Box.

Open Access

RAM policies on Open-Access publishing are the same as general IEEE policies. The majority of all IEEE transactions, journals, and letters offer a hybrid option, which permits both traditional subscription-based content as well as open access, author-pays content. For all hybrid journals, the quality of the review process for OA and traditional articles is the same. Any open access papers published within a hybrid journal will be included in all media types offered by that title.

Authors using government research funding or university consortium funding may be required to publish in OA journals. In addition, authors may choose to pay to publish to gain the largest possible audience for their innovative practical, applied and theoretical research.

RAM will allow open-access for those authors who require it and who support publishing costs directly. Any communication regarding the Open Access choice will only be entertained after the final decision about publication, which is totally unaffected. The peer-review process is indifferent to articles being Open-Access or not. Reviewers will not know if an article is OA or not. Authors’ commitment to OA is only made after acceptance.

The open access article processing charge (APC) for this publication is USD $1950 for all articles accepted on or after 1 January 2017. Other applicable fees (e.g. over-length paper charges) remain unchanged.

A regular paper joins the publication queue and will be scheduled to an issue as space become available, and this can be up to 12 months after submission of camera ready manuscript. You will be contacted by IEEE with a galley proof of your article about 6 weeks before the cover date and you have 5 days to respond.

A paper accepted for a special issue has a known publication date, but the final manuscript must be submitted by the date advised by the editor-in-chief. Failing to meet this deadline means your paper will miss the special issue and go to the end of the regular paper queue.

You can post a copy of your submitted paper (not the final formatted version) on your own web server as discussed below.

Rapid Posting

Papers are now rapid posted prior to appearance in the print/digital issue. These papers are on IEEE Xplore, have a DOI and can be found by Xplore or Google search. They don't have a volume/issue/page number but are otherwise fully citable. You can find such papers via the "Early Access" button on the Magazine's Xplore page.

Publication

A regular paper joins the publication queue and will be scheduled to an issue as space become available, and this can be up to 12 months after submission of camera ready manuscript. You will be contacted by IEEE with a galley proof of your article about 6 weeks before the cover date and you have 5 days to respond.

A paper accepted for a special issue has a known publication date, but the final manuscript must be submitted by the date advised by the editor-in-chief. Failing to meet this deadline means your paper will miss the special issue and go to the end of the regular paper queue.

You can post a copy of your submitted paper (not the final formatted version) on your own web server as discussed below.

Rapid Posting

Papers are now rapid posted prior to appearance in the print/digital issue. These papers are on IEEE Xplore, have a DOI and can be found by Xplore or Google search. They don't have a volume/issue/page number but are otherwise fully citable. You can find such papers via the "Early Access" button on the Magazine's Xplore page.

The Robotics & Automation Magazine will consider submissions for which earlier versions of the work may have appeared in an IEEE-sponsored conference proceedings. However, for such submissions, the paper must not be just a mere extension of the conference proceedings paper filling in, e.g., details of proofs or additional corollaries, additional experiments, or more detailed background and narrative. Rather, the journal submission must contain new results of substantive research significance and impact beyond the conference version. The authors must make clear in the text of the paper the importance and research significance of these additional results, including any changes and additions to the original material presented in the conference version. Sources must be indicated during the submission procedure and explicitly cited in the manuscript. If the copyright holder of the conference paper is not IEEE, authors should also be aware of potential infringement in case of major overlap in material with the paper submitted to the Robotics & Automation Magazine. Moreover, keep in mind the style of a conference proceeding is different compared to the magazine-style.

This modified policy is in place to comply with IEEE guidelines on reducing as much as possible the overlap between conference and journal publications archived in IEEEE Xplore, and also to reduce the phenomenon of split citations between the conference and journal versions of the paper. Moreover, the Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) now allows for direct publication of a conference paper in an archival journal; authors who may be planning to submit a conference version and later extend it to a journal submission are strongly urged to instead submit their work to RA-L (unless if the new material added to the journal version meets our earlier requirements for research significance and importance).

The Magazine will NOT consider submissions that are currently under review for a conference; such submissions will be returned immediately without review.

If the editor-in-chief invites you to prepare and submit your paper in final form then it must be prepared for transmission to the IEEE publications department. All articles for the Magazine are typeset by the IEEE to ensure they are formatted correctly. Please follow the guidelines below.

  • Prepare a revised version of the paper in PDF format in accordance with the instructions of the Editor. This file is for cross-checking only and will not be used for the final publication.
  • Respect the page limits for the magazine.
  • Prepare the source files of the paper for submission. IEEE can accept manuscripts in a variety of formats including For best Word (.doc format), ASCII, Rich Text Format (.rtf format) or LaTeX style files and instructions may be found here. Pack the file or files in a single compressed file with the extension .zip.
  • Include the original graphics files as separate high-resolution files and NOT included in a Word file. The minimum resolution should be 300 dpi for the desired final print size. Ensure that you have permission to use any picture you may be using: it is not legal to just get a picture from the WWW from other authors, for example. Clearly state in your letter to the editor that all used graphics have been cleared from any copyright issues which may be involved.
  • On the PaperCept website, follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password.
  • On your Access page, enter your Author workspace.
  • If the previous version of your paper was submitted under the old system (before October 31, 2008) then you may not find your paper in your Author workspace. In this case you will need to use the Legacy login link on the Access page. The e-mail message that you received from the Editor has full instructions.
  • Locate your paper on your Author workspace page and click on the link Submit final version.
  • Complete the required steps.
  • After submitting the final version you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • After the paper has been forwarded to the publishers you will be contacted by e-mail about the copyright form and the proofs.
  • IMPORTANT: please note that the TITLE of your paper will be edited to make it catchy, short, clear and appealing to most RAM readers. So, the new Title may not correspond to the one that you proposed in your final manuscript, but you will be notified of the new title at the time of proof correction. Also, a SUBTITLE will be proposed and included in the fully edited version of your manuscript. In case you plan to post a draft version of your paper on websites before its publication, be aware that the possible change of the title in the final manuscript could make some early citations of the draft version of your paper not fully consistent with the final Xplore citation data.

In due course the editor-in-chief, on behalf of the associate editor who handles your paper will notify you about the publication decision. The magazine aims to get first decisions back within 90 days. The decision will be one of:

  • The paper is suitable for publication. See Submitting Final Camera-Ready Manuscripts.
  • Conditionally accept. The paper has significant promise but is not yet suitable for publication. It will need to be revised. See Revising a Manuscript.
  • Reject and resubmit. The paper is not suitable for publication but has some potential. You can choose to revise the article based on reviewer comments and resubmit it as a new article.
  • The paper, in its current form, is not suitable for publication in the magazine.
  • The paper is not deemed to be within the scope of the magazine.

Revising an article

If the associate editor who handles your paper requests you to revise and resubmit your paper, please do the following:

  • Prepare a response to the comments of the reviewers, Associate Editor and Editor in the form of a text file (with the extension .txt) or pdf file (with the extension .pdf). Without this response you cannot upload the resubmission
  • Follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password. See the section PIN and Login Alias if you do not have a PIN and password.
  • On the Access page use the link pdf test to check that your pdf files are compliant.
  • On your Access page, enter your Author workspace.
  • Locate your paper on your Author workspace page and click on the link Resubmit.
  • Follow the required steps.
  • After resubmitting the paper you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • Again you may expect to see the status of your paper change from "Received" to "Under review" and eventually to "Decision pending" until you hear from the Editor who handles your paper.

Prepare your paper in the form of a self-contained pdf file (with the extension .pdf). The maximum file size is 2 MB.

  • Follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password. See the section PIN and Login Alias if you do not have a PIN and password.
  • On your Access page, use the link Test your PDF manuscript file before submission to check that your file is compliant.
  • On your Access page, follow the link Submit a new paper to IEEE-RAM.
  • Choose the kind of submission and follow the menus. For a special issue, choose the appropriate Guest editor in the submission page. In all other cases submit to the Editor in Chief.
  • Complete the required steps.
  • If you have coauthors then you will be asked to enter their PINs. You may look up these PINs on the spot, or create new PINs for them if necessary. Nevertheless it might be a good idea to check ahead of time with your coauthors if they already have PINs, and to ask them to register their PINs themselves if they do not.
  • You must submit a copyright release before the paper can be sent out for review.
  • After successfully submitting the paper you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • You may expect to see the status of your paper change over time from "Received" to "Under review" and eventually to "Decision pending." You may also update your contact information whenever necessary.

Submitted papers must be written in good understandable English. It is not the job of reviewers, associate editors or editor-in-chief to correct English spelling and grammar, and poorly written papers stand a much lower chance of being accepted. Authors wishing for assistance in this regard may consider using the IEEE proof editing service (fee based).

The submitted paper is submitted as a PDF file for review. There is no format or template requirement and you may use any tool at all (LaTeX, Word etc.) to prepare the PDF file. You might like to use the IEEE PDF checker to ensure that your file is compliant, and some hints on creating compliant PDF files using LaTeX. The IEEE Author Digital Tool Box has many helpful links including tools for correct reference formats.

A technical feature (regular or special issue) should meet the following requirements:

  • No more than 9 magazine pages, so aim for no more than 4500 words of text
  • No more than 10 equations
  • No more than 20 references, unless it is a survey article
  • No more than 10 figures
  • Include at least one high quality color photograph of the robotic system
  • Figures, tables, schematics, plots are very welcome
  • PLEASE NOTE: figures need to be submitted in high-resolution, high-quality format such as JPEG, TIFF, EPS, etc. PDF files are not supported.
Be aware that mandatory page charges of USD 250 apply for every published page beyond 9 pages with a maximum 7 extra pages at a chargeIf your paper has multimedia material then this should be prepared according to the guidelines and submitted at the same time as your PDF file.

If you have not previously submitted a paper to the magazine, you are strongly encouraged to peruse recent issues to familiarize yourself with the style and technical level of typical articles.

Word Count

Most authors are accustomed to writing to a page limit rather than a word limit. Since all magazine articles are retype set it is better to aim for a word limit, however unusual or odd this might feel. If you're working in Word then life is easy, use the word count option from the Tools menu. If you're using LaTeX then your options are:

  • detex paper.tex | wc -w
  • pdf2ascii paper.pdf | wc –w
The former won't pick up references, both will count equations, but you shouldn't be having too many of these anyway.

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)

All IEEE journals require an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors. ORCIDs enable accurate attribution and improved discoverability of an author’s published work. The author will need a registered ORCID in order to submit a manuscript or review a proof in this journal.

Follow these steps to link a PaperCept account to a registered ORCID. Note that PINs from different sub-domains can be linked to a single ORCID.

  1. Go to the start page of the PaperCept subdomain where you have an existing PIN (if you do not have one, please create one by following the PIN link from the PaperCept subdomain of interest).
  2. If you do not already have an ORCID, follow the link “Register an ORCID,” create an ORCID and return to the PaperCept login page.
  3. Follow the link “Register your ORCID with any of your PaperCept PINs,” enter your registered email or the ORCID and password and then click on Authorize.
  4. Once you authorize the ORCID to be linked to your PIN you will be returned to the PaperCept subdomain from where you accessed ORCID.
  5. Follow “Log in to any account associated with this ORCID” to complete associating your PIN to the ORCID.
  6. If you have inadvertently created multiple PINs in the same subdomain, you can associate all PINs with the same ORCID.

Editor in Chief

Yi Guo portrait
Yi Guo
EiC
Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken (NJ), United States

Editor

Fabio Bonsignorio portrait
Fabio Bonsignorio
Editor
Heron Robots and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy
Pisa, Italy
Jindong Tan portrait
Jindong Tan
Editor
University of Tennessee
Knoxville (TN), USA

Editorial Assistant

Joyce  Arnold  portrait placeholder
Joyce Arnold
Editorial Assistant
Peer Review Support
IEEE Publishing Operations

Associate Editors

Kingsley Fregene portrait
Kingsley Fregene
AE
Lockheed Martin
Dallas (TX), USA
Antonio Frisoli portrait
Antonio Frisoli
AE
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA)
Pisa, Italy
Jonathan Kelly portrait
Jonathan Kelly
AE
University of Toronto
Toronto (ON), Canada
Ka-Wai Kwok portrait
Ka-Wai Kwok
AE
The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Xiang Li portrait
Xiang Li
AE
Tsinghua University
Beijing, China
Perla Maiolino portrait
Perla Maiolino
AE
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK
Surya Nurzaman  portrait
Surya Nurzaman
AE
Monash University
School of Engineering, Malaysia
Weihua Sheng portrait
Weihua Sheng
AE
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater (OK), USA
Yue Wang portrait
Yue Wang
AE
Clemson University
Clemson (SC), USA
Enrica Zereik portrait
Enrica Zereik
AE
CNR - INM
Genova, Italy

 

 

Special Issue on Open Source and Widely-Disseminated Robot Hardware

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: 15 April 2016 
End of First Review Round and Author Notification: 15 July 2016 
Final Decisions Made: 15 November 2016 
Final Manuscripts Due: 1 December 2016
Publication: March 2017

Introduction

The open-source movement has already revolutionized a number of industries by empowering end-users to contribute to the products that they need and want, and fueling grass-roots development of projects in completely new areas, as well as their continual improvement. While there have been innumerable successes in software and electronics hardware, open mechanical hardware is taking longer to catch on, in large part due to the complexity and expense associated with fabricating mechanical systems. However, rapid fabrication technologies have improved to the point of being able to produce parts that are strong, robust, and precise enough for practical robotic systems and the many of these machines are available in fabrication facilities at most universities. With these and other technologies, users can more easily fabricate and improve upon open source mechanical hardware without requiring large commitments in terms of cost, time, and domain expertise.
This special issue seeks a collection of papers that address topics in open mechanical robot hardware, including issues related to design, fabrication, and dissemination, among others. Lessons learned in both development
and in operation are pertinent to the discussion. Experimental results are strongly encouraged.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Novel open hardware for research, education, or commercial applications that has been specifically developed for easy and widespread fabrication, assembly, customization, and/or repair
  • Projects that combine substantial mechanical hardware with open software/electronics hardware
  • Research results that strongly rely on open mechanical hardware, such as performance results
  • Novel fabrication techniques that facilitate open hardware fabrication and dissemination

Additionally, it is suggested that papers include, in addition to technical content, discussion of challenges and lessons learned as a result of their efforts in open-source or widely-disseminated research hardware such that researchers can learn from them for future efforts.

Topics that do not speak to issues specific to open-source mechanical hardware are out of scope, including:

  • Projects that are entirely or largely based on open-source software or electronics hardware 
  • Mechanical hardware that is not open, such as commercial hardware

Traditional mechanical hardware that has not been designed specifically for easy implementation (e.g. requiring extensive machining) is likely to be out of scope (even if the designs have been made publically available), unless there is strong evidence of wide-spread adoption/implementation and provides insight for other open-source hardware efforts.

Authors of prospective papers are encouraged to send an abstract or description of the work to the special issue editors to discuss its relevance to the SI scope.

Guest Editors

Aaron Dollar (aaron.dollar@yale.edu) – Yale University
Giorgio Metta (Giorgio.Metta@iit.it) – Italian Institute of Technology
Francesco Mondada (francesco.mondada@epfl.ch) - EPFL
Alberto Rodriquez (albertor@cmu.edu) – MIT

Introduction 

Soft robotics and morphological computation are two recent exciting trends in robotics that are expected to provide novel approaches and high-impact applications. The use of soft and deformable materials in robotics system is crucial to deal with uncertain task and environments such as locomotion in rough terrains, grasping and manipulation of unknown and unstructured objects. Soft robots can be characterized by elastic and deformable bodies, a large number of degrees of freedom, the use of unconventional functional materials, and the involvement of intrinsic passive dynamics. All of these properties could provide significant advantages to adaptability of robotic systems if they are treated properly. The research field of morphological computation, on the other hand, explores the concepts and theories of computation in physical systems, where we investigate how motion control processes can be distributed over informational and physical dynamics. It has been previously shown that, by properly designing the dynamics, physical systems such as soft robotic grippers can benefit from simplified control architectures and improved overall performances. The special issue of “Soft Robotics and Morphological Computation” in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine (IEEE-RAM) aims to summarize the state of the art of soft robotics and morphological computation research areas, and to provide a venue for the fruitful collaborations between these two research fields. The desired outcome of this special issue is to develop a general consensus about the scientific goals, perspective and challenges of the two research fields, as well as high impact applications. 

Topics 

We invite review/position papers of topics related to soft robotics, morphological computation and the intersection between the two fields. The topics include but not limited to: 
• Artificial skin and stretchable sensors and electronics 
• Bio-inspired or biomimetic robots based on passive dynamics and unconventional materials 
• Continuum robots, flexible robots, reconfigurable robots 
• Functional materials, morphologies, and assembly for adaptive robotic systems 
• Modeling and simulation of soft bodied robots and structures 
• Natural computation, unconventional computation for adaptive robotic systems 
• Physical human-robot interactions based on soft technologies 
• Wearable robotics

Important Dates

10 November 2015- Deadline for Paper nSubmissio
February 2016- Review Completion and Acceptance Notification 
June 2016- Final Submission
September 2016- Publication

Guest Editors: 

Fumiya Iida (University of Cambridge)
Cecilia Laschi (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna)
Dario Floreano (EPFL), Robert Wood (University)
Surya Nurzaman (Monash University)
Andre Rosendo (University of Cambridge)

The IEEE Robotics & Automation magazine handles only electronic submissions of papers through the RAM Papercept site.

Manuscripts should be original, previously unpublished work, and not simultaneously under consideration for publication elsewhere. The material, if accepted, should be properly available for general dissemination to the readership. It is the responsibility of the authors, not the IEEE, to determine whether disclosure of their material requires the prior consent of other parties and, if so, to obtain it. If authors make use of charts, photographs, or other graphical or textual material from previously published material, the authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to use the material in the manuscript.

The IEEE and the Robotics & Automation magazine support the evolutionary publication paradigm, in which early versions of a work may have appeared in conferences. Submission of expanded/improved material from previous conference papers is allowed, provided that the sources are indicated during the submission procedure, they are explicitly cited in the manuscript, and that differences/changes/additions are discussed in the text of the paper. If the copyright holder of the conference paper is not IEEE, authors should also be aware of potential copyright infringement in case of major overlapping with the submitted paper.

Prepare your paper in the form of a self-contained pdf file (with the extension .pdf).  The maximal file size is 2 MB.

  • Follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password. See the section PIN and Login Alias if you do not have a PIN and password.
  • On your Access page, use the linkTest your PDF manuscript file before submissionto check that your file is compliant.
  • On your Access page, follow the linkSubmit a new paper to IEEE-RAM.
  • Choose the kind of submission and follow the menus.  For a special issue, choose the appropriate Guest editor in the submission page. In all other cases submit to the Editor in Chief.
  • Complete the required steps
  • If you have coauthors then you will be asked to enter their PINs. You may look up these PINs on the spot, or create new PINs for them if necessary. Nevertheless it might be a good idea to check ahead of time with your coauthors if they already have PINs, and to ask them to register their PINs themselves if they do not.
  • You must submit a copyright release before the paper can be sent out for review.
  • After successfully submitting the paper you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail
  • You may expect to see the status of your paper change over time from "Received" to "Under review" and eventually to "Decision pending." You may also update your contact information whenever necessary.

Robotics and Automation science and engineering is the discipline studying and developing systems able to generate and control movements and forces.

Robotics focuses on systems incorporating sensors and actuators that operate autonomously or semi-autonomously in cooperation with humans. Robotics research emphasizes intelligence and adaptability to cope with unstructured environments. 

Automation focuses on systems that operate autonomously, often in structured environments over extended periods, and on the explicit structuring of such environments. Automation research emphasizes efficiency, productivity, quality, and reliability.

Both Robotics and Automation involve designing intelligent machines and systems that are used in manufacturing and service industries, healthcare services including surgery and rehabilitation, laboratory automation, agriculture, space and underwater exploration, disaster relief, entertainment and many other applications to help and support humans or their well-being.

The IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine (RAM) has over 14,000 readers who are the people who drive this remarkable technology. More than half work in basic research and many of the others are top level engineers and decision-makers in industry.

The magazine highlights new concepts in Robotics and Automation that are applied to real-world systems, regularly delivers tutorial and survey papers by distinguished experts in the field, organizes focused special issues on hot topics, and provides a forum for disseminating and discussing emerging trends, novel achievements, and selected news relevant to the development of the whole community active in these fields worlwide.

IEEE Technical Societies sales representatives have the product knowledge to develop a valuable integrated advertising program that will optimize your marketing mix and fit your budget. They can provide the right combination of programming to target the market channel you want to reach.

Please use the email or phone number below to reach out to us and learn more about product advertising opportunities with IEEE Technical Societies.

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IEEE Robotics & Automation Print & Digital

Following an email invitation by a member of the Editorial Board to review a paper for the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine (RAM), you will be directed by a link to the appropriate page and review form in Papercept. Here, you can accept to review the paper or decline. In the latter case, you may indicate the name of an appropriate reviewer. Providing this suggestion is very much appreciated.

RAM does not use double-blind review. The reviewers are never known to the authors, but the authors are always known to the reviewers. In this way, the paper does not hide relevant aspects (e.g., references to other papers by the same authors) that may be helpful for a balanced and fully informed review.

The articles in this journal are peer reviewed in accordance with the requirements set forth in the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual (https://pspb.ieee.org/images/files/files/opsmanual.pdf). Each published article was reviewed by a minimum of two independent reviewers using a single-blind peer review process, where the identities of the reviewers are not known to the authors, but the reviewers know the identities of the authors.

The paper review procedure of RAM involves a recommendation prepared by the Associate Editor on the basis of peer reviews. The final decision on publication, sustaining or modifying this recommendation, is taken by the Editor-in-Chief.

Please respect the deadline. As an author, you undoubtedly appreciate the importance of minimizing delays.

In your review please keep in mind that RAM is a magazine not a transactions, and this implies that:

  • Lack of novelty or contribution does not disqualify an article
  • RAM accepts articles based on the technical interest of the content and the quality of exposition.
  • RAM is not a venue for short or poor journal style articles.

Please provide detailed comments to the authors to support your recommendation. The following points are suggested for your comments:

  • Is the paper clearly written and well organized?
  • Is this a magazine style article or more of a transactions paper?
  • Is the paper likely to be of interest to RAM’s 10,000 readers?
  • Does the introduction state the purpose of the paper?
  • Does the paper describe a working robot system?
  • Are the references relevant and sufficient? Supply missing references. For RAM the ideal is 20 or fewer references.
  • If the paper is not technically sound, why not?
  • If the paper is too long, how can it be shortened? For RAM the ideal is 8-10 magazine pages which is less than 8 pages in the T-RO template.

Please supply any information that you think will be useful to the author for a revision, for enhancing the appeal of the paper, or for convincing him/her of the weak points or mistakes.

Do not identify yourself or your organization within the review text. The reviewer's recommendation for acceptance or rejection should not be included in the comments to the author.

In your critical comments to author, please be specific. If you suggest that the paper be rewritten, give specific suggestions as to which parts of the paper should be deleted, amplified or modified, and please indicate how.

If the paper has a multimedia attachment (typically, a video clip), please comment on this too. Is it consistent with the paper content? Does it enhance the paper quality? If it is a video, how is the technical quality? Is it free of commercialism?

If you feel that additional material (equations, graphs, tables, etc.) needs to be included in your review, you can attach a pdf file to your review. Please, mention in your comments to the author that you have prepared a pdf file with such material. Some reviewers are used  to attach to the review an annotated/bookmarked version of the paper PDF, to indicate things such as spelling errors or similar. However, the current software we use for removing the identity from the metadata of any attachments will also eliminate these annotations and bookmarks. So, if needed, please include such minor notes within your review.

 Upon completion of the review process of a paper, access to the Associate-Editor decision and to all anonymous reviews will be available through PaperCept for the reviewers of the paper.

Currently, there is one web review form for each paper category. The correct form for the paper in review is automatically loaded in RAM PaperCept. Specific instructions for reviewers are contained also at the beginning of each form.

Book Reviews Editor: Alex Simpkins

Introduction

Robotics is a young and interesting discipline. It is dynamic, interdisciplinary, sometimes difficult to define, and very broad. Because of the varied background of those participants in this discipline, even the most seasoned Robotics experts can expand their understanding of the field. Since the field itself is constantly in flux, continuous learning is actually a necessity in order to remain at the forefront, because there is always something new and exciting of which to become aware. A wise person once said, "a big tree must have strong roots." Now more than ever as the field evolves there is great need to communicate not only our individual ideas but also what fuels our ideas, what the roots are of our understanding. In that way different groups can communicate with each other from a common base. Because this is such a young field, we can have a powerful influence on not only how it is communicated, but also the future of Robotics itself.

System Identification: Theory for the UserSystem Identification: Theory for the User

Lennart Ljung

Review: Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE Volume 19, Issue 2

WienerBookCover001Cybernetics

Norbert Weiner

Review: Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE Volume 19, Issue 2

An Introduction to CyberneticsAn Introduction to Cybernetics

W. Ross Ashby

Reviewed by: C. Alexander Simpkins Sr., Ph.D. and Annellen M. Simpkins, Ph.D.

Ashby was a founder of cybernetics, and formulated certain concepts of systems that are well regarded today. This book is intended to introduce the basics of cybernetics as a way to characterize machines not just by what they are, their nuts and bolts, but rather to study what machines might do, considered as a set of possibilities. The author uses simple algebra and short, carefully defined sentences to point to observable objects and events. He also expresses his concepts with clear block diagrams and flow charts. Ashby’s book has 14 chapters, divided into three parts:

  1. Mechanisms: including chapters on change, indeterminate machines, machines with input, stability, and the black box.
  2. Variety: including chapters on quantity of variety, transmission of variety, and incessant transmission.
  3. Regulation and Control: including chapters on regulation in biological systems, requisite variety, error controlled regulators, very large systems, and finally, amplification of power, which also applies to intelligence. Ashby believes that by correctly using the principle of selection, even human intelligence can be increased.

The primary question to the cyberneticist is how the machine is functioning. Consider it as a black box. You can learn about the black box by studying what it does. Act on it with input, and observe the output. Then the process can be improved.

You can apply cybernetic principles by correctly considering a system as consisting of interacting coordinated parts. The state of equilibrium of the whole relies on acceptance of equilibrium by each part. Then, the tendency of a well-regulated machine is to return to stability as a whole.

Ashby explains that constraint is an important feature of coordination in machines, as part of control and regulation. But, a system may be too constrained, so that adaptation is not possible. Requisite variation must be given to the machine when learning actions.

For example, imagine that a robot learned to walk a path, balancing on a flat surface. A great deal of constraint of motion could be given to it. Then, imagine the robot is given an uphill, winding path to walk. Adaptation would be necessary to walk successfully. Constraints would have to be relaxed. The behavior of walking would need to have some variation, but not so much variation that the robot falls over, like a drunk. Feedback by a regulator makes it possible for the robot to adapt to changes in environmental conditions. Ashby also explains how error can be used for regulation.

For better understanding, Ashby points the reader to more complex models. A model is useful to the extent that it is representative, as a totality. But a model can be thought of as a set of possible models: a number of simplifications, in a lattice. Closely detailed approximations are at the top, and distant, simpler approximations are at the bottom. Combinations can be ordered and related, giving useful insights for regulating the real system in coordination with the model. From correct regulation, a stable system evolves that can accomplish the intended purpose.

Ashby's principles are important and useful for robotic systems. If only one of the members of the total set of concepts is implemented in a machine, each implementation is linked, as a member, to the total set of cybernetic principles. The machine as a unit will benefit from the relationship. Coordination, regulation, and control of robotic devices can be greatly improved by adapting and applying these principles.

Robot Builder's BonanzaThe Robot Builder's Bonanza - 4th Edition

Gordon McComb

Reviewed by: C. Alexander Simpkins Sr., Ph.D. and Annellen M. Simpkins, Ph.D.

 The Robot Builder's Bonanza was first published in 1987 and has continued to be a popular handbook through each of its four iterations. It is written with a sense of humor and fascinating tidbits. For example, did you know that the word robot derived from a Czech novelist/playwright named Karel Capek who coined the word robata in a 1917 short story? The word robota in the Czech language means "compulsory worker," and what distinguishes a robot from other machines is that it can perform some kind of function or work. McComb defines a robot as any device that mimics human or animal function. It can be autonomous, pre-programmed, or radio controlled.

Eight carefully laid out sections provide a systematic guide to building a stable robot that can navigate, respond, and perform functions. One of the premises of the book is modularity, and the author encourages creative intermixing of different modules developed in the chapters.

Part 1, "The Art and Science of Robot Building" introduces the world of robotics. It delineates the parts involved, from hardware to motors, software, and sensing. Then in Part 2, "Robot Construction" there are 14 chapters on how to build a robot using different materials (primarily wood, metal, and plastic) as well as rapid prototyping and CAD. Also included are clever ways to utilize parts from toys and old electronics. Part 3 gives fundamentals for powering the robot, with chapters on batteries and power systems, choosing the right kind of motor, ways to incorporate DC motors, and how to work with servo motors. Another chapter teaches you to mount motors and wheels for smooth travel. In addition, the book explains methods for producing movement with shape memory alloys. These special metals can return to their original state after they are heated, and so they offer innovations for robotics.

Part 4, "Hands-On Robotic Projects," shows in separate chapters how to build robots with wheels and tracks, legs, arms, and grippers. Then in Part 5, "Robot Electronics," the author provides a concise but clear review of electronics basics, the commonly used components, solder-less breadboards, and how to make your own circuit board.

Parts 6 and 7 are about the brains of the robot, with instructions on electronic control using computers and microprocessors, along with some simple programming concepts and tips. Descriptions of microcontrollers such as Arduino, PICAXE, and the basic stamp give you some of the most popular methods. The book also shows how to interface your hardware with your computer, microcontroller, R/C system, smart phones, tablets, and PDAs. Part 8 explains sensors, navigation, and feedback using robotic touch, vision, and proximity.

A number of appendices give useful mechanical, parts, and electronics references. In addition, there are online tutorials for locating parts, plus lessons, and how-to videos. Some of the deleted chapters from the second edition are also available online, along with bonus downloadable programs with source code examples and application notes.

The Robot Builder's Bonanza has a wide range of information in a user-friendly style. The book has more than enough fine-grained details to allow practical application. For the beginner, this is a well-laid out guide to build a robot. And if you are experienced, you will find this book fills in gaps and stimulates your own creative juices by the sheer breadth and depth of topics covered. We recommend this book as a fundamental reference for any robot enthusiast's bookshelf.

 

Please send comments, questions, or feedback to this email addess.

Proposing a Special Issue


If you have an idea for a special issue please submit a proposal with the following details to ieeerameic@gmail.com.

Each Special Issue proposal (2-3 pages max) should typically include:

  • A summary explaining the scope, maturity, and significance of the proposed theme in general, and also with specific reference to the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine (RAM) scope (i.e. why do you expect the Special Issue will attract papers that fit well into RAM). This proposal may include a summary of what authors may reasonably be expected to submit papers, pointers at other publications or conferences that might constitute evidence of "maturity," a list of people who might be invited to submit papers, and other similar material. The primary intent of this summary should be to provide the editorial team with a clear rationale for choosing this topic. One important aspect is to demonstrate that no other journals in the robotics and automation field are already running special issues on same or very similar topic. Authors of proposals should be cautioned against actually pre-inviting papers.
  • A proposed call for papers (1 page) including the topic, a short rationale for the topic, and a proposed timeline (submission date for papers and the issue date) - dates, of course, may get modified before the call is published). The call for papers shall adequately take into account the RAM scope and the type of papers that are typically published on the magazine (real world robotics, deployment to application of basic findings, etc.)
  • (Optional) Suggestions for who might edit the special issue. If the proposed Guest Editor(s) is an author of the proposal, a short bio-sketch should be included with the proposal, together with a listing of who else might be an appropriate choice. In any case, a short (1-2 sentence) explanation of why each candidate would be a good choice should be included.

The IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine is a unique technology publication which is peer-reviewed, readable and substantive. Published continuously since 1994 it is consistently ranked amongst the top four robotics publications in terms of impact factor.

The Magazine is a forum for articles which fall between the academic and theoretical orientation of scholarly journals and vendor sponsored trade publications. The IEEE Transactions on Robotics and the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering publish advances in theory and experiments that underpin the science of robotics and automation. The Magazine complements these publications and seeks to present new scientific results to the practicing engineer through a focus on working systems.

The Magazine publishes the following types of articles:

  • Regular technical articles that undergo a peer review process overseen by the Magazine's associate editors. Such articles can be submitted at any time by following the instructions below and are published on a first-in, first-out basis.
  • Special issues on current topics such as space robots, underwater robots and ethics. These issues are managed by guest editors and a call for papers is published. All articles are fully reviewed as for regular technical articles.
  • Tutorial articles written by leading experts in their field.
  • Regular columns on topics such as education, industry news, IEEE RAS news, IFRR news, regional activity and opinion pieces.
  • Reproducible Articles (‘R-Articles’). e. articles reporting on experiments that claim that they can be fully reproduced
  • Short Articles reporting on the replication of the results of a published Reproducible Article (‘R-Articles’)
  • Short Reply articles where original authors comment on the results obtained by reproducing their published experiments

Instructions for Authors

The Process: Initial Submission to Publication

ORCID

Preparing Your Manuscript

Submitting Your Manuscript

Submitting a Previously Published Conference Paper

Decision

Submitting Final Camera-Ready Manuscripts

Publication

Presenting your RAM paper at ICRA or IROS

Frequently Asked Questions

Reproducible Articles, Short r-articles, Reply Articles

These instructions apply to regular technical articles and contributions to an announced special issue. See below for specific instructions on Open Access and Reproducible Articles.

1. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)

All IEEE journals require an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors. ORCIDs enable accurate attribution and improved discoverability of an author’s published work. The author will need a registered ORCID in order to submit a manuscript or review a proof in this journal.

Follow these steps to link a PaperCept account to a registered ORCID. Note that PINs from different sub-domains can be linked to a single ORCID.

  1. Go to the start page of the PaperCept subdomain where you have an existing PIN (if you do not have one, please create one by following the PIN link from the PaperCept subdomain of interest).
  2. If you do not already have an ORCID, follow the link “Register an ORCID,” create an ORCID and return to the PaperCept login page.
  3. Follow the link “Register your ORCID with any of your PaperCept PINs,” enter your registered email or the ORCID and password and then click on Authorize.
  4. Once you authorize the ORCID to be linked to your PIN you will be returned to the PaperCept subdomain from where you accessed ORCID.
  5. Follow “Log in to any account associated with this ORCID” to complete associating your PIN to the ORCID.
  6. If you have inadvertently created multiple PINs in the same subdomain, you can associate all PINs with the same ORCID.

2. Preparing Your Manuscript

Submitted papers must be written in good understandable English. It is not the job of reviewers, associate editors or editor-in-chief to correct English spelling and grammar, and poorly written papers stand a much lower chance of being accepted. Authors wishing for assistance in this regard may consider using the IEEE proof editing service (fee based).

The submitted paper is submitted as a PDF file for review. There is no format or template requirement and you may use any tool at all (LaTeX, Word etc.) to prepare the PDF file. You might like to use the IEEE PDF checker to ensure that your file is compliant, and some hints on creating compliant PDF files using LaTeX. The IEEE Author Digital Tool Box has many helpful links including tools for correct reference formats.

A technical feature (regular or special issue) should meet the following requirements:

  • No more than 9 magazine pages, so aim for no more than 4500 words of text
  • No more than 10 equations
  • No more than 20 references, unless it is a survey article
  • No more than 10 figures
  • Include at least one high quality color photograph of the robotic system
  • Figures, tables, schematics, plots are very welcome
  • PLEASE NOTE: figures need to be submitted in high-resolution, high-quality format such as JPEG, TIFF, EPS, etc. PDF files are not supported.

Be aware that mandatory page charges of USD 250 apply for every published page beyond 9 pages with a maximum 7 extra pages at a charge. If your paper has multimedia material then this should be prepared according to the guidelines and submitted at the same time as your PDF file.

If you have not previously submitted a paper to the magazine, you are strongly encouraged to peruse recent issues to familiarize yourself with the style and technical level of typical articles.

Word Count

Most authors are accustomed to writing to a page limit rather than a word limit. Since all magazine articles are retype set it is better to aim for a word limit, however unusual or odd this might feel. If you're working in Word then life is easy, use the word count option from the Tools menu. If you're using LaTeX then your options are:

  • detex paper.tex | wc -w
  • pdf2ascii paper.pdf | wc –w

The former won't pick up references, both will count equations, but you shouldn't be having too many of these anyway.

 

3. Submitting Your Manuscript

Prepare your paper in the form of a self-contained pdf file (with the extension .pdf). The maximum file size is 2 MB.

  • Follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password. See the section PIN and Login Alias if you do not have a PIN and password.
  • On your Access page, use the link Test your PDF manuscript file before submission to check that your file is compliant.
  • On your Access page, follow the link Submit a new paper to IEEE-RAM.
  • Choose the kind of submission and follow the menus. For a special issue, choose the appropriate Guest editor in the submission page. In all other cases submit to the Editor in Chief.
  • Complete the required steps.
  • If you have coauthors then you will be asked to enter their PINs. You may look up these PINs on the spot, or create new PINs for them if necessary. Nevertheless it might be a good idea to check ahead of time with your coauthors if they already have PINs, and to ask them to register their PINs themselves if they do not.
  • You must submit a copyright release before the paper can be sent out for review.
  • After successfully submitting the paper you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • You may expect to see the status of your paper change over time from "Received" to "Under review" and eventually to "Decision pending." You may also update your contact information whenever necessary.

4. Submitting a Previously Published Conference Paper

The Robotics & Automation Magazine will consider submissions for which earlier versions of the work may have appeared in an IEEE-sponsored conference proceedings. However, for such submissions, the paper must not be just a mere extension of the conference proceedings paper filling in, e.g., details of proofs or additional corollaries, additional experiments, or more detailed background and narrative. Rather, the journal submission must contain new results of substantive research significance and impact beyond the conference version. The authors must make clear in the text of the paper the importance and research significance of these additional results, including any changes and additions to the original material presented in the conference version. Sources must be indicated during the submission procedure and explicitly cited in the manuscript. If the copyright holder of the conference paper is not IEEE, authors should also be aware of potential infringement in case of major overlap in material with the paper submitted to the Robotics & Automation Magazine. Moreover, keep in mind the style of a conference proceeding is different compared to the magazine-style.

This modified policy is in place to comply with IEEE guidelines on reducing as much as possible the overlap between conference and journal publications archived in IEEEE Xplore, and also to reduce the phenomenon of split citations between the conference and journal versions of the paper. Moreover, the Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) now allows for direct publication of a conference paper in an archival journal; authors who may be planning to submit a conference version and later extend it to a journal submission are strongly urged to instead submit their work to RA-L (unless if the new material added to the journal version meets our earlier requirements for research significance and importance).

The Magazine will NOT consider submissions that are currently under review for a conference; such submissions will be returned immediately without review.

5. Decision

In due course the editor-in-chief, on behalf of the associate editor who handles your paper will notify you about the publication decision. The magazine aims to get first decisions back within 90 days. The decision will be one of:

  • Accept: The paper is suitable for publication. See Submitting Final Camera-Ready Manuscripts.
  • Conditionally accept. The paper has significant promise but is not yet suitable for publication. It will need to be revised. See Revising a Manuscript. 
  • Revise and resubmit. The paper is not suitable for publication but has some potential. You can choose to revise the article based on reviewer comments and resubmit it, see Revising a Manuscript. Still keep the word count under the limit. A second decision “revise and resubmit" is not allowed, so only (conditionally) accept or reject.  
  • Reject: The paper, in its current form, is not suitable for publication in the magazine.
  • Editorial Reject: The paper is not deemed to be within the scope of the magazine.

Revising an article

If the associate editor who handles your paper requests you to revise and resubmit your paper, please do the following:

  • Prepare a response to the comments of the reviewers, Associate Editor and Editor in the form of a text file (with the extension .txt) or pdf file (with the extension .pdf). Without this response you cannot upload the resubmission
  • Follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password. See the section PIN and Login Alias if you do not have a PIN and password.
  • On the Access page use the link pdf test to check that your pdf files are compliant.
  • On your Access page, enter your Author workspace.
  • Locate your paper on your Author workspace page and click on the link Resubmit.
  • Follow the required steps.
  • After resubmitting the paper you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • Again you may expect to see the status of your paper change from "Received" to "Under review" and eventually to "Decision pending" until you hear from the Editor who handles your paper.

6. Submitting Final Camera-Ready Manuscripts

If the editor-in-chief invites you to prepare and submit your paper in final form then it must be prepared for transmission to the IEEE publications department. All articles for the Magazine are typeset by the IEEE to ensure they are formatted correctly. Please follow the guidelines below.

  • Prepare a revised version of the paper in PDF format in accordance with the instructions of the Editor. This file is for cross-checking only and will not be used for the final publication.
  • Respect the page limits for the magazine.
  • Prepare the source files of the paper for submission. IEEE can accept manuscripts in a variety of formats including For best Word (.doc format), ASCII, Rich Text Format (.rtf format) or LaTeX style files and instructions may be found here. Pack the file or files in a single compressed file with the extension .zip.
  • Include the original graphics files as separate high-resolution files and NOT included in a Word file. The minimum resolution should be 300 dpi for the desired final print size. Ensure that you have permission to use any picture you may be using: it is not legal to just get a picture from the WWW from other authors, for example. Clearly state in your letter to the editor that all used graphics have been cleared from any copyright issues which may be involved.
  • On the PaperCept website, follow the link Log in and log in with your PIN (or Login alias) and password.
  • On your Access page, enter your Author workspace.
  • If the previous version of your paper was submitted under the old system (before October 31, 2008) then you may not find your paper in your Author workspace. In this case you will need to use the Legacy login link on the Access page. The e-mail message that you received from the Editor has full instructions.
  • Locate your paper on your Author workspace page and click on the link Submit final version.
  • Complete the required steps.
  • After submitting the final version you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail.
  • After the paper has been forwarded to the publishers you will be contacted by e-mail about the copyright form and the proofs.
  • IMPORTANT: please note that the TITLE of your paper will be edited to make it catchy, short, clear and appealing to most RAM readers. So, the new Title may not correspond to the one that you proposed in your final manuscript, but you will be notified of the new title at the time of proof correction. Also, a SUBTITLE will be proposed and included in the fully edited version of your manuscript. In case you plan to post a draft version of your paper on websites before its publication, be aware that the possible change of the title in the final manuscript could make some early citations of the draft version of your paper not fully consistent with the final Xplore citation data.

  7. Publication

A regular paper joins the publication queue and will be scheduled to an issue as space become available, and this can be up to 12 months after submission of camera ready manuscript. You will be contacted by IEEE with a galley proof of your article about 6 weeks before the cover date and you have 5 days to respond.

A paper accepted for a special issue has a known publication date, but the final manuscript must be submitted by the date advised by the editor-in-chief. Failing to meet this deadline means your paper will miss the special issue and go to the end of the regular paper queue.

You can post a copy of your submitted paper (not the final formatted version) on your own web server as discussed below.

Rapid Posting

Papers are now rapid posted prior to appearance in the print/digital issue. These papers are on IEEE Xplore, have a DOI and can be found by Xplore or Google search. They don't have a volume/issue/page number but are otherwise fully citable. You can find such papers via the "Early Access" button on the Magazine's Xplore page.

   8. Presenting Your Robotics & Automation Magazine Paper at ICRA or IROS

Any IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine (RAM) paper, may be presented at either an upcoming IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) or an upcoming IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), provided most of the key ideas of the paper have never appeared at a conference with a published proceedings (i.e., the paper is a "new" paper and not the evolved version of a previous conference paper or papers). 

  • To be eligible for ICRA 20xx+1, your paper’s final accepted manuscript must be submitted to RAM for proofing between 1 January 20xx and 31 December 20xx.
  • To be eligible for IROS 20xx+1, your paper’s final accepted manuscript must be submitted to RAM for proofing between 1 May 20xx and 3-0 April 20xx+1.

In summary, if your final manuscript is submitted between 1 January and 30 April of 20xx, it meets the date criteria for IROS 20xx and ICRA 20xx+1. If your final manuscript is submitted between 1 May and 31 December of 20xx, it meets the date criteria for ICRA 20xx+1 and IROS 20xx+1.

Authors may not request any acceleration or delay of the review process based on these criteria.

Authors of eligible papers will be contacted by the RAM Editor-in-Chief’s office, typically in April/May or December/January, to determine interest in presenting at a conference.  Eligible papers may only be presented at one conference.

 

  9. Frequently Asked Questions

PIN and Login Alias

To log in to the IEEE RAM and review system authors, reviewers and editorial staff need a PIN (Personal Identification Number) and a password. IEEE RAM uses the people database of the RAS Conference system so if you have a PIN in this database then you may use this to log in to IEEE RAM. If you already have a PIN and password then follow the link Log in. If you do not remember your PIN or password, or you are not sure if you have a PIN, then follow the link PIN.

  1. Use the PIN Wizard to check very carefully if you already have a PIN.
  2. If you do have a PIN but you do not have your password, then request that the password be sent to you.
  3. If your e-mail address for the PIN is out of date and you cannot receive the password, then do not register a new PIN but request that your e-mail address is updated and your password be sent to you at the updated e-mail address.
  4. Only register a new PIN if you are completely sure that you do not already have one.

Generally only authors who are new to the system will need to register a new PIN. We strongly recommend against registering multiple PINs. If you use the update function of the PIN wizard you may set up a Login alias. You may use this to log in instead of your PIN. You may also change your password as you like. However, when you submit a paper you will still need the PIN.

Color

Authors are encouraged to submit high quality, high resolution color photographs and illustrations when appropriate. The magazine is printed in full color and there is no additional cost to authors for the use of color. Copyright information and photo credit information must be provided for all photographs used in any IEEE publications.

Page Charges

A mandatory page charge is imposed on all Regular Papers whose length exceeds 9 Magazine pages, and this is difficult to estimate since the articles are typeset by the IEEE.

This charge is $250 per page for each page over the first nine based, and with a maximum 7 extra pages, and is a prerequisite for publication. Note that the editor-in-chief can exercise some limited discretion in this regard. Aim for text under 4500 words and a short bibliography of less than 20 references. Do not skimp on images, they are key to the magazine style.

Abstract

Articles in the magazine, unlike the transactions, do not have an abstract. However, we do need an abstract as part of the metadata on IEEE Xplore, so we will use the abstract you provide or the first paragraph of the article. This is what you see on the summary page for your article in Xplore.

Posting Papers on Your Own Website

IEEE policy retains substantial rights for authors to post on their personal sites and their institutions' servers, but only the accepted versions of their papers, not the published versions as might be downloaded from IEEE Xplore. Click here for details on the policy. See also the details of IEEE policy on the SHERPA RoMEO site where you can compare IEEE's policy with that of many other publishers.

Multimedia Extensions in IEEE Xplore

The Magazine allows multimedia attachments to the paper which are available, along with the PDF article, on IEEE Xplore. Multimedia can be "playable" files (.mpeg, .avi, .wav, .mov, .midi, etc.) or "dataset" files (e.g., raw data with programs to manipulate them). Such material is intended to enhance the contents of a paper, both in clarity and in added value.

  • IEEE provides guidelines for the submission of multimedia, ranging from the format to the description of content and of use requirements, and the way this material should be referenced in the body of the paper. General guidelines include:
  • The paper should be self-contained, i.e., fully readable and understandable independently from the multimedia material.
  • Videos should be prepared without using special codecs (coders/decoders) plug-ins and allowing portability under various platforms. Accordingly, the most common media formats are strongly recommended rather than their latest versions.
  • Only freely available media players (e.g., QuickTime, RealPlayer, Microsoft Windows Media Player) should be required by users.
  • A "ReadMe.txt" file (in ASCII text format) should accompany the multimedia, describing:
  • Minimum requirements for the user. In particular, provide the version of the software that is required to play/run the submitted files. Include the name of the software, the version number, and any special requirements for the player.
  • Contact Information. The author should provide contact information in case users have questions regarding the multimedia material (IEEE will not provide any technical support for this).
  • A "Summary.txt" file (in ASCII text format) should also be prepared, describing in 5 sentences or less the contents or value of the multimedia object.

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) Author Names

IEEE supports the publication of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) author names in the native language alongside the English versions of the names in the author list of an article. For more information, please visit the IEEE Author Digital Tool Box.

Open Access

RAM policies on Open-Access publishing are the same as general IEEE policies. The majority of all IEEE transactions, journals, and letters offer a hybrid option, which permits both traditional subscription-based content as well as open access, author-pays content. For all hybrid journals, the quality of the review process for OA and traditional articles is the same. Any open access papers published within a hybrid journal will be included in all media types offered by that title.

Authors using government research funding or university consortium funding may be required to publish in OA journals. In addition, authors may choose to pay to publish to gain the largest possible audience for their innovative practical, applied and theoretical research.

RAM will allow open-access for those authors who require it and who support publishing costs directly. Any communication regarding the Open Access choice will only be entertained after the final decision about publication, which is totally unaffected. The peer-review process is indifferent to articles being Open-Access or not. Reviewers will not know if an article is OA or not. Authors’ commitment to OA is only made after acceptance.

The open access article processing charge (APC) for this publication is USD $2045 for all articles accepted on or after 1 January 2019. Other applicable fees (e.g. over-length paper charges) remain unchanged.

 

10. Reproducible Articles (R-Articles), Short Replication Articles (r-articles), Reply Articles

Since September 2017 IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine solicits R-articles (i.e., papers that report experiments aiming to be fully reproducible), short articles reporting on the replication of r-Article results, and author short article replies, see [5].

All papers are peer reviewed. The result will be a two stage very high-quality review process. The first stage will be the ordinary rigorous review process of a top-tier publishing venue. The second stage will be the replication of the experiments by the community (what is usually the core of the scientific method).

 

Cover letter

 

The authors will have to explicitly declare in the cover letter, if their article aims to be considered for publication as Reproducible Article (R-Article), as a short article illustrating the replication of other authors’ results (a ‘r-article’, or a short reply by the authors of a reproduced experiment.

 

It is the responsibility of the authors to publish all the necessary information to make their results reproducible.

 

What to put in a RAM R-Article

 

The authors will have to share whatever they believe is necessary and sufficient to reproduce their results and confirm that in the cover letter.

 

Minimum Requirements

 

  1. A description. i.e., an almost ordinary journal article with text, figures, and multimedia, complying at a minimum with the good experimental methodology (GEM) guidelines, [1], or similar.
  2. data sets stored in Code Ocean [2], IEEE Dataport  [3], GitHub [4]  or other suitable platform (to be agreed with RAM EIC and Reproducibility editor), and all the necessary information tests that have been run; only in well­ justified special cases will we accept different sharing platforms; videos of experiments should not be considered as data sets, but as multimedia attachments if they are not actually part of the data elaborated by some algorithm in the robot software. The statistical measures of confidence (such as ‘p-values’) of the results must be spelled out clearly, calculated and being retrieved on the datasets
  3. complete code identifiers and preferably downloadable code (executable files might in some cases be enough) on Code Ocean —the algorithms as they have been coded and all necessary library and middleware information. The storage on other suitable platforms must be agreed with RAM EIC and Reproducibility editor.
  4. a hardware (HW) description or HW identifier (we need to know the physical details of the robots to be able to repeat robotics experiments); by HW description, we mean the full design (at the level of detail necessary for replication) of the robot or robots used in the experiment.

The information in (1-2) and any other the authors deem necessary for reproducing their results must be stored in a specific pdf file as ‘additional online materials.’

 

It is important that the code and HW are well identified to be able to replicate experiments.

 

  1. Is it an experimental paper?
  2. Are the system assumptions/hypotheses clear
  3. Are the evaliuation criteria spelled out explicitly?
  4. What is being measured and how?
  5. Do the methods and measurements match the criteria?
  6. Is there enough information to reproduce the work?
  7. Do the results obtained give a fair and realistic picture of the system being studied?
  8. Are the drawn conclusions precise and valid?

 

The Euron GEM guidelines in a nutshell [1]. The guidelines were meant as an adaptation of the basics of the scientific method to robotics and AI.

 

Typical structure of an R-Article 

 

R-articles should be organized in three parts:

 

  1. Magazine Article: It provides a ‘magazine style overview of the published research like any typical RAM article.  It should convey   the general ideas, motivation, relevance and obtained results. 
  2. Supplemental Information: It provides an extended version of the magazine article. It describes, with sufficient details to allow to reproduce the work, Materials and Methods, Results and their analytical Discussion. The description of the research must be in accordance with the Euron GEM Guidelines [1]. It must provide the user guide for reproducing the results. It will be uploaded as a Multimedia Attachment (this may change in the future),
  3. Data, Code and Design Repository: an online repository on  IEEE  DataPort , [3],or Github, [4],   includes  all  the  data,  code  and, if they are open sourced, the  hardware designs of the robots involved in the research, if they are not, the necessary information to clearly identify the hardware used for the experiments. All additional details  necessary  and  sufficient to reproduce the experiments must be given. If the published research includes simulations, authors are recommended to store code and data allowing the simulation experiments to be reproduced online on Codeocean, [2].



The R-Article Life Cycle

 

It will be possible to publish a short article about the result replication of an R-­article, what we call an r-article (non-capitalized r).

 

Similarly, the authors of the original R-­article will be able to submit, in the form of a short peer reviewed article, a Reply to the authors of the r­-article, we will call this a Reply article.

 

All these articles will have the same minimum requirements as the R-articles.

 

Peer Review, Data and Code Consistency Check

 

All articles above will be peer reviewed like any other RAM article and will undergo a quick data and code consistency check.

 

Difference with publishing your data and code for a standard peer-reviewed article

 

Publishing an R-article on RAM is not the same that publishing on another journal and sharing code and data. An R-article is specifically peer-reviewed also from the point of view of its reproducibility. Moreover, it enters into the research reproducibility process described above. This is a unique opportunity at the time of writing these guidelines 



[1]        F. Bonsignorio, J. Hallam, A. P. del Pobil, Eds. (2008). GEM guidelines: Euron GEM Sig report. [On­ line]. Available: http://www.heronrobots.com/ EuronGEMSig/downloads/GemSigGuidelines Beta.pdf

 

[2]        CodeOcean. Discover and run scientific code. [Online]. Available: http://www.codeocean.com

 

[3]        IEEE DataPort: Dataset Storage and Dataset Search Platform. [Online]. Available:

http://ieee-dataport.org 

 

[4]        Github. [Online]. Available: http://www.codeocean.com

 

[5]        F. Bonsignorio, "A New Kind of Article for Reproducible Research in Intelligent Robotics [From the Field]," in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 178-182, Sept. 2017, doi: 10.1109/MRA.2017.2722918.

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