The coronavirus pandemic has quickly become the most dramatic and disruptive event experienced by this generation.
The disease has spread very quickly around the world and the growing number of new infections and patients in need of intensive medical care has pushed clinical services care beyond their limits, revealing a shortage of trained personnel and lifesaving equipment, such as ventilators. In addition, frontline health professionals operate in highly infectious areas, exposing themselves to the risk of becoming infected. The most common political response to mitigate the spread of the disease has been to promote social distancing, and locking down entire countries. Although being effective, these measures impose heavy social and economic consequences.

Kaspar Althoefer

Kaspar Althoefer, RAS Administrative Committee member, and his Team at the Queen Mary University of London step up to create and provide PPE to the frontline. The are using 3D printing technologies help establish mass-production of face shields.

A full article is available on IEEE Spectrum.

New Consortium Mobilizes Roboticists to Help With COVID-19 and Future Crises.

Robin Murphy

Robotics for Infections Diseases consortium explores the role of robots in the coronavirus pandemic. A group of roboticists, led by Robin Murphy, IEEE Fellow, RAS Member and long time Volunteer, recently formed this consortium. The Steering Committee is made up of many RAS Members and Leaders in the robotics field.

For more information see: RoboticsForInfectiousDiseases.org

An Interview Series with public health, public safety, and emergency management experts is available through a series of recordings and future live events. Please check back soon! 

A full article is available on IEEE Spectrum.

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RAS Member, IEEE Fellow and long time Volunteer, Satyandra K. Gupta is leading a research team at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles that is building a robotic arm that uses a UV light to sanitize contaminated areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A special thanks to these amazing researchers for assisting during this diffucult time. 

Link to articlehttps://spectrum.ieee.org/news-from-around-ieee/the-institute/ieee-member-news/usc-researchers-robotic-arm-disinfect-coronavirus



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RAS Member, IEEE Fellow and long time Volunteer, Antonio Bicchi and his Team from IIT of Genoa (Italian Institute of Technology) and by I-RIM, the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, have developed and launched remote-controlled robots for local hospitals, allowing patients with Covid-19 to video call their loved ones at home, without endangering healthcare professionals.

A special thanks to these amazing researchers for assisting our most vulnerable.

The complete story is HERE

The project description is HERE.

The following outlines an initiative started by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. IEEE Robotics and Automation Society is a financial co-sponsor of the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems (TCDS).

 

Scientists and researchers all over the globe are working hard to address various issues related to the COVID 19 crisis such as modelling and analysis of the mechanisms underlying the spread of the virus, along with modelling how various interventions can help control the propagation of the disease, finding useful treatment protocols, potential drugs, and vaccines. 

The role of technology, in particular, that of Computational Intelligence to deal with the crisis, should not be underestimated.  In order to take part in this fight against COVID 19, the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS) has set up a program, the COVID 19 Initiative. Under this initiative, the Editors-in-Chief will expedite, to the extent possible, the processing of all articles submitted to any of the CIS publications, with primary focus (as judged by the Editors-in-Chief) on COVID 19.  Please check the S1M submission site of your desired publication for instructions as to how to submit a COVID-19 focused manuscript.

If accepted, all such articles will be published, free-of-charge to authors and readers, as free access for one year from the date of the publication to enable the research findings to be disseminated widely and freely to other researchers and the community at large.  Any such article will go through the standard review process followed for the publication and the article must be within the scope of the publication.

We request that individuals follow the advice provided by the World Health Organization as well as local administration to stay safe and healthy.  Let’s do our part to understand and control this virus that is sweeping across the planet.

Edson Prestes

IEEE RAS Member and Volunteer Edson Prestes, Federal University of RioGrande do Sul, Brazil, has been invited by Audrey Azoulay, Unesco’s Director General, to join an international Ad Hoc Expert Group in charging of preparing a preliminary text for an international law on Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. This law will be the first global standard-setting instrument on ethics of artificial intelligence. This group is comprised of 24 of the world’s leading experts on the social, economic and cultural challenges of artificial intelligence. UNESCO decided to create this normative instrument during UNESCO’s General Conference in November 2019 and its goal is to have this law adopted by its Member States at the end of 2021. UNESCO has a long tradition on creating this kind of normative instruments. An example is Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, adopted in 1997.

More information and a full list of members is available here: https://en.unesco.org/news/unesco-appoints-international-expert-group-draft-global-recommendation-ethics-ai

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended the submission deadline to: 15 June 2020

There is a substantive body of work on methods providing robustness to robotic systems, but research on resilience is scattered, and the distinction between resilience and robustness is still poorly understood. As a result, this special issue has two main goals: (1) to provide a deeper understanding of resilience for networked systems and (2) to assemble works that demonstrate the importance of resilient methods. In an effort to disseminate the current advances in designing and operating resilient robotic networks, and to stimulate a discussion on the future research directions in this field, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO) invites papers for a Special Issue in this area. Researchers are invited to submit papers on the foundational, algorithmic, and experimental aspects of design, modeling, control and validation of resilience in robotic networks.

Standards Assoc logoThe IEEE Standards Association under the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society has started a Study Group to investigate the feasibility of creating standards and performance metrics to measure robot agility, with the goal of enabling robots to be more productive, more autonomous, and to require less human interaction.

Agility in this context is broadly defined as addressing failure identification and recovery, automated planning to minimize up-front programming time, and enabling plug and play robots to allow for easier swapping of different robots without massive reprogramming downtime.

We expect this effort to address robot agility in a wide range of applications, such as manufacturing, healthcare, defense, and service robots.

How to get involved

If you are interested in being involved with this IEEE SA Study Group (and the future working group) and having the opportunity to shape the future of these efforts, please contact Anthony Downs at anthony.downs@nist.gov

 

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Volume 36, Number 2, April 2020

Table of Contents

 

It's not too late! If you have good ideas and enthusiam, consider a self nomination today! The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society membership will elect six new members of the Administrative Committee in 2020, each to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2021. The AdCom is the governing body of the Society.

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RESPONSIBILITIES OF ADCOM MEMBERS

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

ELIGIBILITY

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

TO NOMINATE A CANDIDATE

To nominate a candidate or offer yourself as a candidate, contact the Society at ras@ieee.org by 1 May 2020.

PETITION CANDIDATES

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

Completed petitions must be received by 1 May 2020 to be placed on the ballot.

SELECTION OF FINAL BALLOT

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

Each year, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society offers financial support for three Technical Education Programs (RAS-TEP), formerly Summer Schools. In efforts to bring RAS closer to its membership, these programs rotate though the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific Rim.

Japan 2019 participants cropped

IEEE realizes that many are directly or indirectly engaged in the fight against COVID-19 and its effects on global health and safety, research, infrastructure, communications, and more. IEEE has identified articles from the IEEE Xplore digital library that may help researchers understand and manage different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and technologies that can be leveraged to combat it.

All content in this collection is now free to access, with additional rights for all types of reuse, including full text and data mining, and analysis.

We are continually monitoring the developments and will update the IEEE Xplore https://ieeexplore.ieee.org content periodically.

Thank you for your support of our shared mission to advance technology for humanity.

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If your organization has an institutional subscription to IEEE Xplore(R) and you need to work remotely due to school and workplace closures, you can still access IEEE Xplore and continue your work and research while offsite. Try these tips for remote access or contact IEEE for help. IEEE is here to support you, making certain that your IEEE subscription continues to be accessible to all users so they can continue to work regardless of location.

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We kindly invite you to submit your contributions to the following special issue:

IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine Special Issue- "Emerging Paradigms for Robotic Manipulation: from the Lab to the Productive World”
 

Due to the actual situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic we decided to extend the submission deadline for the Special Issue and postpone its publication of 3 months.

IEEE realizes that many are directly or indirectly engaged in the fight against COVID-19 and its effects on global health and safety, research, infrastructure, communications, and more. IEEE has identified articles from the IEEE Xplore digital library that may help researchers understand and manage different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and technologies that can be leveraged to combat it.

All content in this collection is now free to access, with additional rights for all types of reuse, including full text and data mining, and analysis.

We are continually monitoring the developments and will update the IEEE Xplore https://ieeexplore.ieee.org content periodically.

Thank you for your support of our shared mission to advance technology for humanity.

Motivation

Anticipation is a key ability for advanced autonomous systems, especially if they operate in densely crowded environments and alongside humans. Examples of tasks benefiting from predictive human motion models include robot task and motion planning, automated driving, physical human-robot collaboration, intelligent video surveillance. Foreseeing how a scene involving multiple agents evolves over time and incorporating predictions in a proactive manner allows for novel ways of planning, active perception, model predictive control, or human- robot interaction. The growth of community interest to the area in recent years is evident, in particular from the publication trends in regular paper sessions of the recent robotics conferences (ICRA, IROS, RSS and others). Furthermore, the area is recognized as a major component/research direction by several big players in the automotive industry.

The proposal of this Special Issue is motivated by the success of the first workshop on “Long-term Human Motion Prediction”, which took place at ICRA 2019 in Montreal, see https://motionpredictionicra2019.github.io/. The event has received a high number of attendees (more than 100), and the audience, including renowned experts in motion prediction, has shared their positive feedback to the quality of the talks and the submitted extended abstracts. 

The special issue aims to collect the several contributions presented during the workshop and to further welcome possible submissions from the interested researchers by launching a call-for-papers.

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