RAS E-News January 2008

Volume 6, Number 1


Welcome to RASeNews, the IEEE RAS email newsletter. RASeNews is limited to short announcements of RAS Conferences, RAS society 'action items', breaking news, and time-sensitive issues. Send comments, queries and news items to r.g.snyder@ieee.org.

1. IEEE RAS 2008 Initiatives: Deadline for Proposals Feb 15

There were formatting problems and an error in the announcement of the RAS 2008 Initiative Grants in the RAS enews mailed January 17. The Deadline for proposals is FEBRUARY 15, 2008. All proposals should be sent to the RAS Society Administrator r.g.snyder@ieee.org. All proposal swill be acknowleged.

2. RAS AdCom Election Results

Congratulations and thanks to the six new members of the Robotics and Automation Society Administrative Committee, who will serve a three year term 2008-10. The newly elected members are:At-Large
    • Alessandro De Luca, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Italy
    • Peter Corke, CSIRO, Australia
Geographical Area 1: IEEE Regions 1-7, 9
    • Lynne Parker, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
Geographical Area 2: IEEE Region 8
    • Stefano Stramigioli, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Geographical Area 3: IEEE Region 10
  • Shigeki Sugano, Waseda University, Japan
  • Satoshi Tadokoro, Tohoku University, Japan

2007 was the first year RAS members had the opportunity to use electronic ballots. The result was that 1217 of the 1246 votes were cast via the web. More than twice as many RAS members voted in this adcom election as did in any of the past 5 years.

The 18 elected AdCom members serve staggered three year terms, and can serve no more than two consecutive terms. All members of graduate student grade or higher may vote. Members may vote for six candidates regardless of region.

3. 2008 Society Initiative Grants: Call for Applications

As a result of a new IEEE policy, the Robotics and Automation Society anticipates being able to use some of its 2008 budget to fund a modest number of initiatives that would benefit society members in general. We expect a maximum of $60,000 to be available to support initiatives. We hope to be able to fund several initiatives in the range of $5000 to $24900. Members are invited to submit proposals for initiative to the RAS administrator Rosalyn Snyder r.g.snyder@ieee.org.

In accordance with our Business Plan, proposals will be reviewed by the following major Boards of the Society, which, except for EPSB, will be chaired by their respective vice presidents in 2008:

  • Conference Activities Board (CAB) VP: John Hollerbach
  • Industrial Activities Board (IAB) VP: Alex Zelinsky
  • Member Activities Board (MAB) VP: Alicia Casals
  • Publications Activities Board (PAB) VP: Peter Luh
  • Technical Activities Board (TAB) VP: Ken Goldberg
  • EPSB Chair (not formally a VP) Stefano Stramigioli.

Proposals must identify the Board(s) which most closely represent(s) the type of activity proposed. The Boards will prioritize the requests and send them to the Financial Activities Board, which will review them and forward them to the AdCom, which will make the ultimate funding decisions.


February 15, 2008 – Deadline for proposal submission
March 15, 2008 – Funding decisions disseminated
November 30, 2008 – Final report due
November 30, 2008 – Deadline for invoice

Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be submitted as an attached PDF with a two page limit. Proposals must include, in the following order:

  • Most relevant RAS Board (Membership, Industry, ...) for the proposal
  • Proposed Title of New Initiative
  • List of PIs with contact info
  • Short description of idea and impact on members
  • Short plan for sustainability beyond initial seed funding
  • Total funding requested in US Dollars
  • Sources of matching funds (if any)
  • Proposed use of funds
  • Proposed timeline for project (funds must be spent in time for invoices to reach the Society Treasurer by November 30, 2008!)
  • Short plan for administration of funds by proposers

Several issues to consider:

  • IEEE is a volunteer organization and funding cannot be used to pay members fees or salaries.
  • Funds must be processed through the PI’s institution
  • There can be no “upfront” funds. Invoices must be submitted after expenditure of funds.
  • Expenses incurred for which invoices are not received by November 30, 2008 will not be reimbursed.

All proposals and related questions should be directed to:
Rosalyn Graham Snyder
IEEE Robotics and Automation Society
T +1 919 851 3603
F + 1 919 882 9734<./p>

Evaluation of Proposals

Priorities on which proposals will be preferred for funding will be conducted according to the following criteria:

Essential characteristics

  • The proposed activity must benefit the RAS society as a whole or a substantial subset of its members
  • The proposed activity must not be for individual or group research projects
  • Proposed funding must be less than or equal to $24,900
  • Proposed funding must be greater than or equal to $5,000 (smaller items should work their way through the boards in their normal budget cycle)

High priority characteristics:

  • Those that that use innovative approaches to implement a strong vision for the future
  • Those that directly impact a large number of RAS members
  • Those that have high impact to cost ratio
  • Those with cost sharing
  • Those that seed self-sustaining activities
  • Those that leverage volunteer efforts
  • Those that provide travel or meeting support in a program area
  • Programs providing student support
  • Workshops in emerging areas
  • Potential to increase membership or involvement in RAS activities
  • Those that develop RAS activities in emerging regions or technical areas
  • Those providing service to the R&A community those that clearly identify one of the boards to administer, develop and evaluate the program.

    Low priority characteristics:

  • Those whose activities are of peripheral interest to society
  • Those that fund individuals
  • Those restricted to a geographic region, especially not an emerging region
  • Those that fund technical research
  • Those containing extensive funding of staff salaries
  • Long term activities
  • Those with low impact to cost ratio
  • Those particularly complex to execute

Other Issues:

  • RAS will support payment of full-time students (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral) for services, provided satisfactory information regarding their tax status is received prior to award/contract.
  • RAS will only support full-time students for initiative work.
  • RAS will not pay for activities that are considered a normal activity associated with academic activities, e.g., preparing courses.
  • RAS's standard policy is to pay zero indirect/ overhead on any award/contract. Exceptions are expected to be rare and must be negotiated in advance before the award/contract is issued, preferably before the proposal is submitted.
  • Laptops, PC's, software, or cameras, may only be purchased if the work for the award/ contract specifically requires these items (the case for the purchase of these items must be made clearly in the proposal). At the conclusion of the initiative, such items shall be the property of RAS, which will determine the future utilization of the items.
  • IEEE/RAS retains all rights on intellectual property developed under RAS-funded projects.
  • Travel to technical conferences is considered part of normal activity and will not normally be covered by initiative funding.

The following must be included in/with the budgets of all proposals responding to RAS initiative competitions:

  • Total amount of compensation for services;
  • (Educational) status of all those to receive this compensation, and breakdown of compensation amounts for each such person;
  • Itemization of all supplies/equipment over $500 to be purchased with RAS funds;
  • If travel funding is requested, full details of the nature of each travel instance (location(s), duration of travel, purpose, estimated amount). Travel not specifically included in the proposal will not be reimbursed.

4. Call for Nominations: IEEE and RAS Society Awards

Nominations for the the following IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Awards are due March 1.
  • RAS Chapter of the Year Award
  • RAS Most Active Technical Committee Award
  • RAS Most Active Distinguished Lecturer Award
  • RAS Pioneer Award
  • RAS Early Career Award
  • IEEE-RAS Distinguished Service Award
  • IEEE InabaTechnical Award for Innovation Leading to Production
  • IEEE/IFR Invention and Entrepreneurship Award
  • IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation

A description and list of previous recipients of each award is available on the RAS webpage at http://www.ieee-ras/member/awardsRAS.php. Nominators should use the appropriate Nomination Forms which are available on the RAS Secretary webpage, at http://www.ieee-ras.org/secretary/documents.php under "Volunteer Resources."

Please send the completed nominations form to the RAS Administrator at r.g.snyder@ieee.org.

Nominations for the IEEE Robotics Technical Field Award must be submitted to the IEEE by January 31. Please see http://www.ieee.org/portal/pages/about/awards/sums/robotaut.html for details and instructions for nominators.

Nominations for IEEE Fellow must be submitted to the IEEE by March 1. Please see http://www.ieee.org/web/membership/fellows/fellow_apps.html for applications and instructions. <./p>


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