Congratulations to the following RAS Members - elevated to Fellow grade, effective 1 January 2017!


2017 RAS Fellows evaluated by the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society

Gordon Cheng
Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany
"For contributions in humanoid robotic systems and neurorobotics"

Mariapia Fanti
Polytechnic of Bari, Italy
"For contributions to modeling and control of discrete event systems"

K Kyriakopoulos
National Technical University Of Athens, Greece
"For contributions to robot motion planning and control of multirobot systems"

Bengt Lennartson
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
"For contributions to hybrid and discrete event systems for automation and sustainable production"

Jingshan Li
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
"For contributions to manufacturing system automation"

Robert Mahony
The Australian National University, Australia
"For contributions to control aspects of aerial robotics"

Eduardo Nebot
The University of Sydney, Australia
"For contributions to robotics and applications in vehicle navigation and mining"

Giuseppe Oriolo
Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy
"For contributions to motion planning and control methods in complex robotic systems"

Hong Tan
Purdue University, USA
"For contributions to wearable haptics"

Frank Van Der Stappen
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
"For contributions to the algorithmic foundations of robotics and automation"


2017 RAS Fellows evaluated by other IEEE Societies

Evaluated by the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society:
Uwe Hanebeck
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
"For contributions to nonlinear estimation and control"

Evaluated by the IEEE Computer Society:
Ram Duvvuru Sriram
National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA
"For leadership in developing computational tools for healthcare enterprises"

Evaluated by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society:
Zi-xing Cai
Central South University, China
"For contributions to evolutionary optimization and intelligent robotics"

Evaluated by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society:
Pablo Estevez
University of Chile, Chile
"For contributions to feature selection and visualization of large data sets"

Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Calin Belta
Boston University, USA
"For contributions to automated control synthesis and robot motion planning and control"

Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Alessandro Giua
Aix-Marseille University, France
"For contributions to discrete event and hybrid systems"

Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Kristin Pettersen
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
"For contributions to control of marine vessels and snake robots"

Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Xiaobo Tan
Michigan State University, USA
"For contributions to modeling and control of smart materials and underwater robots"

Evaluated by the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society:
Jose Carmena
University of California-Berkeley, USA
"For contributions to the neural basis of motor skill learning and neuroprosthetic systems"

Evaluated by the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society:
Jose Del R Millan
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
"For contributions to brain-controlled robots"

Evaluated by the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society:
Michael Gard
The Charles Machine Works, USA
"For contributions to instrumentation-and-measurement technology for petroleum exploration, computed tomography, and underground construction"

Evaluated by the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society:
Li Li
Tsinghua University, China
"For contributions to intelligent transportation systems and vehicles"

Evaluated by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society:
Andrea Caiti
University of Pisa, Italy
"For contributions to geo-acoustic inversion and autonomous underwater vehicles"

Evaluated by the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society:
Ching-chih Tsai
National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan
"For contributions in intelligent adaptive learning control for industrial systems and machinery"

IEEE CASE 2017 will be held on 20-23 August 2017 in Xi'an, China. IEEE CASE is a flagship automation conference of the IEEE RAS and constitutes the primary forum for cross-industry and multi-disciplinary research in automation. Its goal is to provide a broad coverage and dissemination of foundational research in automation among researchers, academics, and practitioners.

The technical program of IEEE CASE 2017 will consist of tutorials/workshops, keynote/plenary speeches, automation forums, and oral presentations. Papers describing original work on abstractions, algorithms, theories, methodologies, and case studies are invited. Accepted and presented papers will be published in the conference proceedings, and submitted for inclusion into IEEEXplore as well as other Abstracting and Indexing (A&I) databases. IEEE CASE is an offspring of the journal IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (TASE). The journal will publish a CASE Special Issue of top-rated papers. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) will also accept journal quality publications in conjunction to CASE 2017.

Regular papers and special session proposals and papers should be submitted online at the conference website at One new feature of CASE 2017 is that the authors of the papers published or accepted in and after 2016 by IEEE TASE or IEEE Transactions on Robotics can request presentation of their papers at the conference in the newly organized "transaction paper sessions". General inquiries should be addressed via Email to the Program Chair, Prof. Qing-Shan Jia at The best conference paper award, the best application paper award, and the best student paper award will be selected.

Xian Bell Tower front

Xi'an is a famous historical and cultural city in China. It is the cradle of the Chinese nationality, the birthplace of the Chinese civilization and the representative of the Chinese culture. The city was first established more than 3100 years ago and it has been taken as a capital for 1129 years for 13 dynasties. It is one of the most ancient capitals of the world, in the company of Athens, Rome and Cairo. The city once functioned as the political, economic and cultural center of China and as the starting point of the renowned Silk Road. Due to its long history and rich culture, the city is reputed to be the natural history museum.

1 December 2016 Submission site opens;
11 January 2017 Special session proposal due;
29 January 2017 Special session acceptance notification;
29 January 2017 Tutorial/workshop proposal submission due;
15 February 2017 Contributed paper submission due;
15 February 2017 RA-L/CASE submission due;
26 February 2017 Tutorial/workshop acceptance notification;
20 May 2017 Paper acceptance notification;
27 May 2017 Conference registration opens;
12 June 2017 Final paper submission due;
20 July 2017 RA-L notification



Registration Deadline is 12 December 2016!

Vacuum cleaners, drones and arguable driverless cars, assistive wearables, 3D printers and virtual headsets are examples of consumer robots. This Winter School's objective is to better define consumer robotics - and specifically, identify research topics and areas.

A Field Trip to the Consumer Electronics Show (5-7 January 2017) is a part of the Winter School. CES hosts 400+ consumer robot companies which join 170,000 attendees, 3700+ exhibitors and global media for product launches and market trends.

Lectures and Workshops will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), USA

Prof. Zexiang Li (Hong Kong University of Technology) on DJI and Consumer Drones
Dr. Steve Cousins (Savioke) on Hotel Robot Room Service
Dr. Tony Lewis (Qualcomm) on Embedded Intelligence
Prof. Ayanna Howard (Georgia Tech) on Educational Robots
Dr. Martin Buehler (Disney Research)
And more to come...

These Distinguished Colleagues have academe/industry experiences that will help students and the robotics community better understand the growing field of consumer robotics.

Application Deadline: 12 December 2017

Apply online here:

For more information see:

The IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2016) was held 9-14 October 2016, in Daejeon, Korea. Congratulations to the following Award Recipients - which were announced on 13 October during the Awards Luncheon.

Harashima Award small

IROS Harashima Award for Innovative Technologies
This award is to honor Professor Fumio Harashima, the Founding Honorary Chair of the IROS conferences, by recognizing outstanding contributions of an individual of the IROS community who has pioneered activities in robotics and intelligent systems.
Shigeki SUGANO - Waseda University, Japan
"For his technical contributions and innovation in human-symbiotic anthropomorphic robotics"

IROS Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes an individual who has performed outstanding service and leadership for the benefit and advancement of the IROS Conference. Up to two awards will be given annually at the IROS Conference.
Christian LAUGIER - INRIA, France

IROS Toshio Fukuda Young Professional Award
This award recognizes individuals (from academic institutions, government, industry, or research labs) who, in their early career, have made identifiable contributions that have had a major impact on intelligent robots and systems. Up to two awards will be given annually at the IROS Conference.
Fumiya IIDA - University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

JTCF Novel Technology small

IROS JTCF Novel Technology Paper Award for Amusement Culture 
This award recognizes technical papers which have made practical technology contributions to Toys, Toy Models and Amusement Culture.
2 Winners this Year!
"Robot Artist for Colorful Picture Painting with Visual Control System"
Ren Luo, Ming-Jyun Hong, Ping-Chang Chung

"The CableRobot Simulator - Large Scale Motion Platform Based on Cable Robot Technology"
Philipp Miermeister, Carlo Masone, Andreas Pott, Heinrich H. Buelthoff, Joachim Tesch

Robocup Best Paper small

IROS RoboCup Best Paper Award 
This award recognizes technical papers which have made identifiable contributions to RoboCup.
"Multi-Robot Search for a Moving Target: Integrating World Modeling, Task Assignment and Context"
Francesco Riccio, Emanuele Borzi, Guglielmo Gemignani, Daniele Nardi


Best Cognitive Robotics paper small

IROS KROS Best Paper Award on Cognitive Robotics
This award is to promote interdisciplinary researches on cognition for technical systems and advancements of cognitive robotics in industry, home applications, and daily life.
"Predicting Actions to Act Predictably: Cooperative Partial Motion Planning with Maximum Entropy Models"
Mark Pfeiffer, Ulrich Schwesinger, Hannes Sommer, Enric Galceran, Roland Siegwart


Best Paper SSRR small

IROS Best Paper Award on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics
This award is to promote advanced research on safety, security and rescue robotics. The name of the award is connected with Mr. MotohiroKisoi who was killed in Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on 17 January 1995. He was a master student of Kobe University, Japan at that time. He had a dream to create a robot that can help people. To memorialize him and Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the award has established.
"A Palm for a Rock Climbing Robot Based on Dense Arrays of Micro-Spines"
Shiquan Wang, Hao Jiang, Mark Cutkosky



Best Application Paper small

IROS ICROS Best Application Paper Award
This award is to promote researches on excellent robot application.
"Skeletal Structure with Artificial Perspiration for Cooling by Latent Heat for Musculoskeletal Humanoid Kengoro"
Toyotaka Kozuki, Hirose Toshinori, Takuma Shirai, Shinsuke Nakashima, Yuki Asano, Yohei Kakiuchi, Kei Okada, Masayuki Inaba


Best Student Paper Wulfmeier small

IROS ABB Best Student Paper Award
This award recognizes the most outstanding paper authored primarily by a student at the annual IROS Conference.
"Watch This: Scalable Cost-Function Learning for Path Planning in Urban Environments"
Markus Wulfmeier, Dominic Zeng Wang, Ingmar Posner




IROS Best Paper Hutter small

IROS Best Paper Award
This award recognizes the most outstanding paper at the annual IROS Conference.
"ANYmal - a Highly Mobile and Dynamic Quadrupedal Robot"
Marco Hutter, Christian Gehring, Dominic Jud, Andreas Lauber, Carmine Dario Bellicoso, Vassilios Tsounis, Jemin Hwangbo, Karen Bodie, Péter Fankhauser, Michael Bloesch, Remo Diethelm, Samuel Bachmann, Amir Melzer, Mark Hoepflinger


Congratulations to the six RAS members elected by the membership to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2017. We wish the newly elected members of the Administrative Committee success and thank all candidates for their willingness to serve and for permitting their names to be included on the ballot.

AdCom Members Elected at Large:

hutchinson seth2016 small

Seth Hutchinson
University of Illinois, USA




hongqiao2016 small

Hong Qiao
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China





AdCom Member from RAS Geographic Area 1 (the Americas):

TonyMaciejewski small

Anthony Maciejewski
Colorado State University, USA




AdCom Member from RAS Geographical Area 2 (Europe, Africa, Middle East--IEEE Region 8):

Antonio Bicchi small

Antonio Bicchi
University of Pisa, Italy



AdCom Members from RAS Geographical Area 3 (Asia, Australia, Pacific Rim):

YasuhisaHasegawa small 2016

Yasuhisa Hasegawa
Nagoya University, Japan




 photo Dong Soo Kwon small

Dong-Soo Kwon
KAIST, South Korea

With heartfelt gratitude the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) and the robotics community bids farewell to Ken Goldberg, who enthusiastically served from 2011-2016 as Editor-in-Chief of T-ASE. Successor Michael Yu Wang has some big shoes to fill, but will be assisted by Samantha Jacobs and the T-ASE Editorial Team.

T ASE handoff

Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley, took the helm in October 2011 and never looked back. The journal has grown in volume and page count, in prestige, and has seen huge growth in reach and impact factor during his tenure. In his last Editorial, Ken reviews the team effort that doubled the T-ASE Impact Factor over 5 years and quotes RAS Past President Raja Chatila: "One Robot is Robotics, Ten Robots is Automation"

Automation has now come of age! RAS, the T-ASE Editors and Associate Editors, and the automation community will miss the Leadership provided by Ken. We wish him well in all future endeavors!

Ken is succeeded by Michael Yu Wang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Michael's areas of expertise are as follows:
Primary areas: Human-Centered Automation, Assembly Modeling, Manufacturing, Grasping, Fixturing, Feeding.
Secondary areas: Theoretical Methods, Algorithmic Foundations, Machine Tools, Numerical Optimization.

IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
Special Issue on Bio-inspired Social Robot Learning in Home Scenarios

There has been considerable progress in robotics in the last years allowing robots to successfully contribute to our society. We can find them from industrial environments, where they are nowadays established, to domestic places, where their presence is steadily rising. The proposed special issue intends to explore the following question: "How well prepared are learning robots to be social actors in daily-life home environments in the near future."

The special issue is therefore not only an opportunity to address this focuses on the latest scientific contributions on bio-inspired learning and social robotics, but also links them with a clear focus to push the presence of robots in people's daily-life environment. Thus, one main goal of the special issue is offering a common foundation for roboticists from different fields of expertise to contribute beyond the current state-of-the-art of learning methods in robotics especially applied to home scenarios and recent developments in assistive robots.

The subjects of the special issue include, but are not limited to:
- Interactive reinforcement learning.
- Policy and reward shaping.
- Neural learning of object affordances and contextual affordances.
- Predictive learning from sensorimotor information.
- Learning understanding of environment ambiguity.
- Learning with hierarchical and deep neural architectures.
- Bootstrapping complex action learning in robots.
- Learning supported by external trainers, by demonstration and imitation.
- Parental scaffolding as a bootstrapping method for learning.

The special issue is open for all submissions which will be independently peer-reviewed in accordance with IEEE policy. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the "Information for Authors" of the journal, found at, and submitted through the IEEE TCDS Manuscript center under the category: "SI: Social Robots": Papers submitted must not have been published previously, though they may represent significant extensions of prior work.

31 January 2017 - Deadline for manuscript submission.
15 April 2017 - Notification of authors.
15 May 2017 - Deadline for revised manuscripts.
15 June 2017 - Final decisions.

For further information, please contact one of the following guest editors in this order:
Francisco Cruz - Knowledge Technology Institute, University of Hamburg, Germany -
Jimmy Baraglia - Emergent Robotics Laboratory, Osaka University, Japan -
Yukie Nagai - Emergent Robotics Laboratory, Osaka University, Japan -
Stefan Wermter - Knowledge Technology Institute, University of Hamburg, Germany -

2016 IEEE International Conference on Simulation, Modeling, and Programming for Autonomous Robots
San Francisco, California USA
13-16 December 2016


Early Registration Deadline: 31 October 2016

After a very selective review process, approximately half of the paper submissions were rejected, and we are looking forward to a high-quality, single track program of IEEE SIMPAR 2016.


Emo Todorov
Erwin Coumans
Luis Sentis


Combining Optimal Control, Reinforcement Learning and Movement
Primitives to Achieve Better Robot Motions
Organizer: Katja Mombaur

Grand Challenges in Robotic Simulation
Organizer: Evan Drumwright

Modeling and Simulating Mechanical Rigid-Body Systems Using Siconos
Organizers: Vincent Acary and Stephen Sinclair

The Role of Simulation in Robot Programming
Organizers: Maria Gini and Enrico Pagello


Technical tours will be held on 17 December 2016 (incl. robotics lab tours at UC Berkeley and Stanford University).


The Parc 55 – A Hilton Hotel
We offer discounted room rates for SIMPAR attendees.
On 14 December 2016, all conference attendees will be able to enjoy a beautiful dinner cruise on the San Francisco Bay.

WAFR 2016

The 2016 International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR) will take place in San Francisco from 18-20 December 2016, adjacent to SIMPAR 2016.


3D robot simulation and mathematical modeling of robots
Learning from simulation
Reliability, scalability and validation of robot simulation
Simulated sensors and actuators
Machine learning for robotics applications
Offline simulation of robot design
Online simulation with real-time constraints
Simulation with software/hardware in the loop
Middleware for robotics
Modeling framework for robots and environments
Testing and validation of robot software
Standardization for robotic services
Communication infrastructures in distributed robotics
Interaction between sensor networks and robots
Human robot interaction and collaboration
Simulation of multi-robot systems
Model-based optimization and optimal control
Model predictive control


If you have questions, need additional support, or encounter problems, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at

2017 IEEE RAS–SIGHT Humanitarian Robotics & Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC'17)
29-30 May, ICRA 2017, Singapore (Porto Alegre, Brazil remotely)

competition photo

Edson Prestes (UFRGS, Brazil)
Alexandre Amory (PUCRS, Brazil)
Raj Madhavan (HumRobTech, LLC, & IEEE RAS-SIGHT, USA)

The fourth HRATC edition will follow the footsteps of previous ones and continue to focus on promoting the development of new strategies for autonomous landmine detection using a mobile (ground) robot. HRATC Challenge has three phases: 1) Simulation Phase, 2) Testing Phase, and 3) Finals Phase. The strategies developed by the participating teams will be according to the following criteria: exploration time and environmental coverage; detection and classification quality; and landmine avoidance. Teams will be progressively eliminated after each phase and the remaining teams would move on to the next phase culminating in the Challenge (Finals) phase at ICRA'17. All teams will use the same robot that will be available before (for remote practice runs) and during the Challenge. Furthermore, participants will have access to a ROS-based simulator to develop and test their code before testing it remotely on the real robot.

More details on the previous edition can be found at and from the following summary articles published in the IEEE RAS Robotics & Automation Magazine:
- 2015 Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge, IEEE RAS RAM, Sept. 2015.
- 2016 Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge, IEEE RAS RAM, Sept. 2016.

All potential participants should submit a paper (1-2 pages) in the standard IEEE format including figures that describes the motivation and previous experiences/researches (if any). The organizers will then evaluate this paper and an acceptance notification containing further steps would follow. All submissions should be sent to <>. The Challenge will take place remotely in Porto Alegre, Brazil and beamed in real time to the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore during ICRA'17. Necessary logistics and travel support will be provided depending on the number of qualifying teams.

- Entry Deadline: 15 November 2016
- Acceptance Notifications: 1 December 2016
- Simulation Phase: 15 December 2016 - 15 February 2017
- Testing Phase: 1 March 2017 - 1 April 2017
- Challenge@ICRA'17: 29-30 May 2017

A downloadable CFP and more info. on HRATC'17 is available from

It is going to be amazing!


2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016) will be held in Daejeon, Korea, 9-14 October 2016.

Victor Scheinman died at the age of 73 from a heart attack while visiting his brother in Northern California. Vic lived in Woodside, near Palo Alto, CA USA and in San Francisco, CA USA.

V Scheinman small

Vic graduated from MIT with a degree in Aero & Astro. He then entered Stanford as a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering and also spent a year in Belgium at the von Karmen Institute for Fluid Dynamics. After completing his Masters Degree he joined the Stanford Artificial Intelligence lab (SAIL) and enrolled for an Engineers Degree, which he completed in 1969. In connection with his Engineers Degree thesis he researched the idea of having a purely digital mechanical arm. This led to the "Orm" that was a prototype a pneumatically actuated multi-degree of freedom snake like arm. In addition, he was instrumental in modifying a Rancho Los Amigos exoskeleton arm for operation under computer control and he also participated in the design of a high-speed computer controlled humanoid hydraulic arm.

The main portion of his Engineers thesis dealt with the design of a six-degree-of-freedom computer controlled electric manipulator that he named The Stanford Arm. He then went on to produce over 10 copies of this Stanford Arm. It became the preferred research device in several university, government and industrial laboratories, and mathematical models of it were used as example in early robotics research papers and textbooks. This design is also deservedly referred to as "The Scheinman Stanford Robot Arm" or simply "The Scheinman Arm."

Vic then developed a six-axis force/torque sensing wrist that could be carried by the Scheinman Arm and other manipulators. This facilitated experiments in force control. He then returned briefly to MIT where he had been invited by Marvin Minsky to design a small humanoid arm for their AI Lab.

After returning to California, Vic started Vicarm, a company that produced copies of both his MIT design, which he named the Vicarm, and his Stanford arm. After several years his company was bought by Unimation, Inc. and was turned into the West Coast Division of Unimation. Vic's first new product, sponsored by General Motors through Unimation, was basically a scaled up industrial version of the Vicarm design. It was named the PUMA manipulator, and was well received both in academia and industry.

Victor left his company in 1980 to found the West Coast office of the computer vision company Automatix. After Vic left, Unimation was purchased by Westinghouse, and subsequently Brian Carlisle and Bruce Shimano, Vic's closest colleagues at Vicarm, arranged to reorganize Unimation's West Coast Division into Adept, Inc. For the rest of his life Vic remained close to and highly supportive of both Carlisle and Shimano.

At Automatix Vic invented Robot World. It was an entirely new concept for robotic use in manufacturing. He intended it to be used for circuit board assemble. Basically it was composed of multiple small manipulators magnetically suspended and free to move under computer control on an air cushion under an x-y table. Eventually Robot World was licensed for manufacture by the Japanese company Fujitsu.

After leaving Automatix Vic devoted his time to consulting and education. He coached design students in Stanford's Mechanical Engineering department and robotics labs. He was also active with High School students whom he mentored in connection with the First Robotics Competitions.

Vic received the Joseph F. Engelberger Award and also the ASME's Leonardo DaVinci Award for his work as a robot designer. Several of his manipulators are exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC and the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Vic was the consummate engineer. He kept extensive design notebooks, and his home shop was stocked with surplus hardware for electronic, computer and mechanical systems. He was totally a hands-on person, who did his own repairs and designs. He felt he could fix almost anything, and loved figuring out ways to solve problems. He always had a large number of projects going at the same time, and was very generous in providing his tools, parts, labor and expertise to his friends, colleagues and students. He will be greatly missed by the large community that he touched throughout his life with his dynamic personality and generous heart.

Fabrizio Flacco, a tenured research scientist of the French CNRS, suddenly passed away at the age of 34 on 18 September 2016, due to an undiagnosed congenital heart malformation, which burst while jogging with a friend.

F Flacco

Fabrizio took his master degree in Pisa as a student of Antonio Bicchi in 2007, and received his PhD from Sapienza University of Rome in 2011 with a thesis on "Modeling and Control of Robots with Compliant Actuation", with Alessandro De Luca as supervisor. In between, he spent a research period at the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL) with Oussama Khatib and his group. After a post-doc at Sapienza, working for the FP7 SAPHARI and the H2020 COMANOID European research projects, he became in December 2015, a Chargé de Recherche of the CNRS at LIRMM in Montpellier, in the IDH group led by Abderrahmane Kheddar. 

Dr. Flacco has been an IEEE RAS student member from 2009, and then a member since 2012. He served our community in different ways: he was among the promoters of the workshop series on Human-Friendly Robotics (HFR), a very central event for young researchers in the field, organized several workshops at ICRA and IROS conferences, was one of the Associate Editors in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, and Co-Chair of the RAS Technical Committee on Algorithms for Planning and Control of Robot Motion. For a paper that appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Robotics in June 2015, Fabrizio received just few days before leaving us the 2016 IEEE RAS Italian Chapter Award for Best Paper by a Young Author. The Chapter decided right away to name the award after him (see

A collection of memories and pictures can be accessed at Our heartfelt condolences go to the family, his wife and two little daughters, from all his friends and colleagues.

RAS is pleased to arrange three Luncheon Networking events for our Members attending IROS 2016 in Daejeon, South Korea. Space is limited for these popular events. Don't miss the chance to attend either or both because the space has been filled. Advanced registration is required. The cost is $5 per lunch.
Register Now!

RAS Women in Engineering Leadership (WIE) Luncheon
Tuesday, 11 October from 12:15-13:30
Emerald Room/ 2F of the Daejeon Convention Center (DCC) (107, EXPO-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, South Korea)

The Women in Engineering (WIE) luncheon provides an opportunity to foster discussion on the role of women in robotics and automation, inspire girls and promote collaborations and initiatives to advance women in leadership. As the goal for this event is to be more than a lunch for women, but a lunch with women. Therefore, men are more than welcome to participate and enjoy the discussion.


Speaker: Manuela M. Veloso
Manuela is the Herbert A. Simon University Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the Head of the Machine Learning Department, and she has joint appointment in the Computer Science Department and courtesy appointments in the Robotics Institute and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. She researches in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. She founded and directs the CORAL research laboratory, for the study of autonomous agents that Collaborate, Observe, Reason, Act, and Learn, Professor Veloso is IEEE Fellow, AAAS Fellow, AAAI Fellow, Einstein Chair Professor, and the co-founder and past President of RoboCup, and past President of AAAI. Professor Veloso and her students research with a variety of autonomous robots, including mobile service robots and soccer robots. See for further information, including publications.

There is a $5 USD registration fee to attend. Space is limited and first come, first served, so advanced registration is suggested.
Register here:


RAS Lunch with Leaders - LwL (for Students)
Wednesday, 12 October from 12:00-13:30
Crystal Ballroom A&B, Lotte City Hotel

This luncheon is open to student attendees and offers the chance to meet and interact with RAS and Industry Leaders. Get your questions answered regarding career advice, the direction of the industry, future growth in robotics & automation, publication practices, etc. YOU decide the topic of conversation!

Confirmed Leaders include:
Satoshi Takodoro, Torsten Kroeger, Martin Buss, Eugenio Guglielmelli, Ron Lumia, Erwin Prassler , Jing Xiao, Ning Xi, Raja Chatila, David Orin, I-Ming Chen, Wolfram Burgard, Allison Okamura

There is a $5 USD registration fee to attend. Space is limited and first come, first served, so advanced registration is suggested.
Register here:


Young Professionals Luncheon
Wednesday, 12 October from 12:00-13:30
Emerald Room/ 2F of Daejeon Convention Center (DCC)

This luncheon is open to attendees in the early stages of their career. New this Year! Chairs and co-Chairs of the RAS Technical Activities will be available for informal conversation centered on new technologies in robotics & automation, future growth in the field, and how to get involved and contribute to RAS Technical Committee work.

Confirmed RAS Technical Committee Leaders include: (TBD)

There is a $5 USD registration fee to attend. Space is limited and first come, first served, so advanced registration is suggested.
Register here:

As the ICRA2017 submission deadline approaches, we are looking for Senior Advisors for the Young Reviewers Program (YRP) of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS).

The Young Reviewers Program (YRP) is intended to introduce young RAS members to the best practices in peer-reviewing of scientific papers. As a Senior Reviewer, your role would be to give reviewing assignments to Junior Reviewers, and to oversee the review process in a mentor-mentee relationship.

Accepting to serve will not increase the number of papers that you review. Only papers that you have already accepted to review (for ICRA 2017) would be eligible for the YRP. In this way, we believe that there will be no net increase in your reviewing workload. The time you would normally spend writing a careful review would be invested instead in cultivating skills in a Junior Reviewer.

As a Senior Reviewer, you can contact a Junior Reviewer found from the YRP website (
and assign to the Junior Reviewer one ICRA paper that you have been asked to review and then work with the Junior Reviewer to perfect the review, which you will submit via PaperPlaza (see more details here).

Please join and sign up to the YRP web site, where you can find details of the eligibility and the procedure.

Best regards,
Arash Ajoudani - IEEE-RAS YRP Executive Manager -
Seth Hutchinson - IEEE-RAS YRP Director -

The Deadline to vote is 25 October 2016!

RAS members are voting to elect six new members of the RAS Administrative Committee to serve 3-year terms beginning 1 January 2017. All RAS members (Graduate Student Members and above) have received voting instructions, the biographies, and statements of the candidates by email. RAS membership must be active as of 13 August 2016 to be eligible to vote. Members who do not have valid emails registered with the IEEE or have opted not to receive e-mail from IEEE, have received their election materials by post.

election vote button.fw

Use to access the ballot and cast your vote now. If you do not remember your password, you may retrieve it on the voter login page.

Voting must be completed no later than 25 October 2016. Any returns received after this date will not be counted. The online voting site will close at 4:00 pm Eastern Time.

Click here to review the candidates' bios and position statements.


If you have any questions about the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society voting process, please contact or +1 732-562-3904.

Full Day Workshop #3
13 October 2016 @ IROS'16

Organizer: Raj Madhavan, IEEE Future Directions Committee

After two successful workshops at theIEEE PHM'16 conference in Ottawa  and at SIPRI , the ATSI Forum at IROS 2016 will allow for discussion on the design of autonomous technologies and their societal impact in both positive and negative ways with particular emphasis on issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific region but not exclusively. Emphasis will be placed not only on technology and public policy issues but also on environmental, cultural, structural, political, and socio-economic factors. Based on the discussions before, during, and after these workshops and forums, a White Paper consisting of valid and balanced  reflecting the state-of-the-art with an emphasis on technology and public policy issues that are representative of various stakeholders from across the globe will be published towards the end of 2016. The findings and summaries will be made available via the FDC website for other initiatives and similar efforts to use them as a reference guide to foster discussions within the community and to foster best practices.

Call for Participation and how to submit your extended abstracts: 

Extended Abstract Submission Deadline: 15 September 2016
Notification of Accepted Presentations: 22 September 2016

He was recently announced as the recipient of the prestigious 2017 IEEE Robotics and Automation Award for "Contributions to the development of robot control and human-centered and humanoid robotics, and leadership in the robotics community."

2017 Robotics and Automation Khatib portrait photo small

A long time and dedicated Volunteer for the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society, he is now recognized for exemplary work in the field. He will receive his award during the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Singapore on 29 May-3 June 2017.

Oussama Khatib received his Doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering from Sup'Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His work on advanced robotics focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics including humanoid control architectures, human motion synthesis, interactive dynamic simulation, haptics, and human- friendly robot design. He is Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics series, and has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals as well as the Chair or Co-Chair of numerous international conferences. He co-edited the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE and has served as a Distinguished Lecturer. He is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). Professor Khatib is a recipient of the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development. In 2010 he received the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award in Robotics and Automation for his fundamental pioneering contributions in robotics research, visionary leadership, and life-long commitment to the field. Professor Khatib received the 2013 IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his vision and leadership for the Robotics and Automation Society, in establishing and sustaining conferences in robotics and related areas, publishing influential monographs and handbooks and training and mentoring the next generation of leaders in robotics education and research. In 2014, Professor Khatib received the 2014 IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation.

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Award was established in 2002 by the IEEE Board of Directors, and is presented for contributions in the field of robotics and automation. It includes but is not limited to: manufacturing automation; robotics and automation in unstructured environments; sensor design; integration and fusion; robot design; modeling; planning and control; methodologies for robotics and automation, and the quality of the nomination.

Past Recipients can be found HERE

Congratulations to the following IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2016) Award Recipients! Winners were announced and honored during the Awards Cermeony which took place on 24 August 2016 in Fort Worth, TX USA.

IEEE-CASE Best Conference Paper Award

An annual award to recognize the Best Conference Paper of the IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE) presented in current year.

Best Conference Paper small

"Regionally Growing Random Trees: A Synergistic Motion Planning and Control Algorithm for Dynamic Systems"
by Siamak Ghorbani Faal and Cagdas Denizel Onal






IEEE-CASE Best Application Paper Award

Best application paper presented at the International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) presented in current year.

CASE Best Application Paper group small

"Context-Aware Activity Prediction Using Human Behavior Pattern in Real Smart Home Environments"
by Ming-Je Tsai, Chao-Lin Wu, Sipun Kumar Pradhan, Yifei Xie, Ting-Ying Li, Li-Chen Fu, and Yi-Chong Zeng





IEEE-CASE Best Student Conference Paper Award

To recognize a student author(s) of a paper presented at the IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) contributing to the notable advancement in automation research: abstractions, algorithms, theory, methodologies, and models that improve efficiency, productivity, quality, and reliability of machines and systems operating in structured environments over extended periods, or that improve the explicit structuring of environments where machines and systems operate.

Best Student Paper small

"An Integrated Framework for Human-Robot Collaborative Assembly in Hybrid Manufacturing Cells"
by Behzad Sadrfaridpour, Hamed Saeidi, and Yue Wang





Congratulations to the following Authors for their outstanding achievement as recipients of RAS Publication Awards! The awards were announced and presented at the IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE 2016) on 24 August 2016 in Fort Worth, TX USA.

2016 IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering Best Paper Award

To recognize the best paper of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE) published in the previous calendar year. Two winners this year!

TASE Best Paper 1 small

"Fault Detection of Discrete-Time Stochastic Systems Subject to Temporal Logic Correctness Requirements"
by Jun Chen and Ratnesh Kumar
as published in the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering; vol. 12, no. 4, October 2015, pp. 1369-1379



TASE Best Paper 2 small

"Collaborative Energy and Thermal Comfort Management Through Distributed Consensus Algorithms"
by Santosh K. Gupta, Koushik Kar, Sandipan Mishra and John T. Wen
as published in the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering; vol. 12, no. 4, October 2015, pp. 1285-1296



2016 IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering Best New Application Paper Award

To recognize the Best New Application Paper of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE) published in the previous calendar year. Two winners this year!

TASE Best New Application 1 small

"Dynamic Collaboration between Networked Robots and Clouds in Resource-Constrained Environments"
by Parul Pandey, Dario Pompili, and Jingang Yi
as published in the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering; vol. 12, no. 2, April 2015, pp. 471-480



TASE Best New Application 2 small

"Regularized Deconvolution-Based Approaches for Estimating Room Occupancies"
by Afrooz Ebadat, Giulio Bottegal, Damiano Varagnolo, Bo Wahlberg and Karl H. Johansson
as published in the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering; vol. 12, no. 4, October 2015, pp. 1157-1168

Danica Kragic is a Model, Clothing Designer, Robotics Scientist and Professor. She also helps to guide the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society through her service on the Administrative Committee (AdCom). 

D Kragic Vogue small.fw

Through prior interaction with Vogue Magazine, Danica is now featured in a new "I Am" video campaign, a series intended to put the spotlight on extraordinary women. 

View the campaign video here:

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