Don't wait! The Award Nomination Deadline is Thursday,1 August.


Who are Leaders in the robotics and automation field? Who should be honored with a prestigious IEEE RAS Award? Consider nominating them! But hurry, the deadline for IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Award nominations is midnight (US EST) 1 August 2019.

Details for each award, including eligibility, nomination requirements and lists of previous recipients, may be found here:

We would like to welcome the newest Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee to the group- Verification of Autonomous Systems, headed by Dejanira Araiza-Illan, Michael Fisher, and Signe Redfield.

The robotics and autonomous systems communities have recently seen a significant and rapid increase in both the development of robots for commercial use and in interest in using robots in a wide range of novel applications.  As these robotic systems, vehicles, and even embedded devices move towards much greater autonomy, we will require techniques for verification that provide much higher confidence than usual. Consequently, the analysis and test processes used for traditional systems must be significantly enhanced to provide increased confidence in this next wave of autonomous systems. The need for well understood and effective verification techniques will become vital as we move to commercial applications such as “driverless cars”, incorporate complex AI technologies, and utilize these systems in safety-critical scenarios.

There are a growing number of research developments concerning the verification of complex systems that can all impact upon this problem. These are clearly of relevance for designing, constructing and deploying autonomous systems but also have importance to Psychology (e.g. social robotics), Philosophy (e.g. machine ethics), and Law (e.g. certification). Furthermore, constructing autonomous systems without strong behavioral guarantees can lead to serious outcomes, and may consequently hold back the widespread adoption of these systems. As the research is fragmented and often not well publicized, this TC will coalesce this activity, drive the research agenda forward, and instill the necessity for verification firmly within industry, government, and the public.

This technical committee is concerned with the development of tools and techniques to verify autonomous systems with the following topics of interest:

  • Tools and techniques for verification at design time
  • Tools and techniques to support the specification of autonomous systems, and their tasks and behaviors, such as logics, languages, mathematical frameworks, and combinations of all these
  • Tools and techniques for verification at development stage
  • Tools and techniques for testing, modeling and simulating autonomous systems, both on their own and within their environment. For example, dedicated automated or interactive computer programs, mathematical and heuristic procedures, and best practices on modelling concerning behavior of autonomous systems and their environment for analysis
  • Verification standards and certification processes for autonomous systems
  • Tools and techniques for verification at run-time, such as sensing and reacting feedback loops with hardware and software, mathematical and heuristic procedures, qualitative and quantitative analyses frameworks, and best practices
  • Tools and techniques for rigorous analysis of system properties such as safety, reliability, security, and ethical constraints. For example, software testing, system testing (hardware-software-environment), simulations, experiments in the lab, user evaluation studies, and combinations of all of these with real and simulated elements


Goals and objectives of this Technical Committee are:

  • Link researchers and practitioners in the field of Verification of Autonomous Systems together
  • Publicize events, initiatives, researchers and resources that target the Verification of Autonomous Systems worldwide
  • Provide a detailed roadmap of existing resources and research as well as future areas that need to be tackled (which can then impact on funding organizations worldwide)
  • Develop and promote leading workshops and international conferences focused on this key topic


For more information on workshops and events or to register for the emailing list,  click here. 

Homo Roboticus

 Written By: Bram Vanderborght, An Jacobs, Michel Maus, Lynn Tytgat and Romain Meeusen

History teaches us that technology has the power to strengthen economic growth and transform societies. This will be more than ever the case with the emerging robotics and artificial intelligence. For current and future societal challenges, technology will be an important part of the problem-solving process for example to face the aging population, rising health costs, the need for healthier and better work, the environment, climate change, mobility and the energy issue. At the same time, new and very important challenges are emerging, which is to ensure that robotization and artificial intelligence continue to benefit people and society. To achieve this objective, in the book Homo Roboticus 10 policy recommendations for an inclusive robot agenda are proposed.

As Darwin was well aware, it’s not the strongest animal that survives, but the one that is best fit for its environment. This means we will have to continue adapting to the emerging trend of robotization. Let us not underestimate the capabilities of mankind. We have millions of years of evolution behind us, evolution which robots are yet to undergo. Both cognitively and physically, the human ‘machine’ is much more impressive and complex than its robotic counterpart. Yet our bodies also have their limitations and we face social challenges.


English version of the book is now available on Amazon.  

More info and book:


Indoor Version

The 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2019)

4-5 November, 2019 in Macau, China

Explosive remnants of war (ERW) are victim-operated weapons of mass destruction in slow motion that make no distinction between friendly or enemy, children or animals. Humanitarian demining or civilian-purpose demining or includes performing two main processes, namely, ERW reconnaissance and mapping and ERW clearance or disposal. Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is the first international robotic competition on humanitarian demining established in 2012. This competition aims at raising public awareness of the seriousness of landmines and UXOs contamination and fostering robotics research and its applications in the area of humanitarian demining in the world. 
In this competition, each participating team build/use a tele-operated/autonomous unmanned ground/aerial vehicle to perform the two processes of humanitarian demining: detection and disposal. The robot must be able to search for buried and surface-laid anti-personnel landmines and UXOs. The position and the type of each detected object are visualized and overlaid on a minefield map. The detected surface landmines have to be safely displaced to a built-in container or to a designated area outside the competition arena. The robot must be able to navigate through simulated rough terrain in an indoor arena that mimics a real minefield.
The ultimate goal of the Minesweepers competition is to put into practice the strategic mission of IEEE, “…to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity” and to serve as an educational and a research forum to provide efficient, reliable, adaptive and cost-effective solutions for the serious problem of humanitarian demining in many affected countries in the world.


Competition Categories

  • Industrial Category: for professional companies and start-ups where metallic and non-metallic objects with different dimensions and profiles are available in the competition arena and landmine detection, landmine imagining, minefield mapping and landmine disposal are required. 
  • Academia Category: for undergraduate and postgraduate university students where only, metallic objects are available in the competition arena and landmine detection, minefield mapping and landmine disposal are required. 
  • Juniors Category: for elementary and high school students where only metallic objects are available in the competition arena and only landmine detection and landmine disposal, are required.
20% extra score is added in case of participating in one of the abovementioned categories with fully autonomous robot, use of Robot Operating System (ROS) as main robotics middleware, use of unmanned aerial vehicles or in case of using a multi-robot system (MRS) of at least one deminer and one supervisor to mimic the conventional mag-and-flag approach or standard operating procedures commonly used in humanitarian demining. Deminers have to be teleoperated unmanned vehicles and supervisor or team leader has to be autonomous vehicle. In this case, the robot team has to be able to work cooperatively in detecting surface-laid and buried objects and marking their locations.


Click Here for Details


Haptics for interactive touch surfaces, also known as surface haptics, is a new area of research in the field of haptics. The goal of surface haptics s to generate haptic effects on physical surfaces such as the touch surfaces used in mobile cell phones, tablets, kiosks, information displays, and front panels of new generation home appliances and cars.

Topics of interest include:
   - Studies on the design and evaluation of various actuation technologies (vibrotactile, electroadhesive, ultrasonic, electromagnetic, etc.) for displaying haptic feedback through touch surfaces
   - Tactile rendering algorithms for displaying virtual shapes and textures on touch surfaces
   - The mechanics and neuroscience of contact between the human fingerpad and touch surfaces displaying haptic feedback
   - Studies on surface haptics investigating human perception, cognition, attention, new HCI paradigms, and user interface design and experience (UIX)
   - Applications of surface haptics in consumer electronics, the automotive industry, home appliances, designing aids for the visually impaired, online shopping, gaming and entertainment, data visualization, education, tele-touch, and art appreciation.

Visit here to view formatting requirements, and submit your paper click here  When uploading your paper please select the appropriate special issue title under the category ? Manuscript Type.?

Important Dates
15 November 2019                Deadline for paper submissions
13 January 2020                    First decisions to authors
16 March 2020                       Second decisions to authors
18 May 2020                          Final publication materials due from authors
1 September 2020                 Special issue publication

Guest Editors
Prof. Cagatay Basdogan, Koc University,
Prof. Seungmoon Choi, Postech,
Prof. Frederic Giraud, University of Lille,
Prof. Vincent Levesque, ETS,

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