The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and IEEE Consumer Electronics Society (CES) seek candidates for the position of Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics (T-H), serving a five-year non-renewable term starting 1 January 2020. Prospective candidates are asked to provide (as PDF files), by 1 September 2019, a complete curriculum vitae, a brief plan for the publication’s future, and a letter of support from their institution or employer.

Submit application materials to: ras@ieee.org

Applicants should possess recognized expertise in the computer science and engineering community, and must have clear employer support.

For more information on the search process, please contact: Amy Reeder a.reeder@ieee.org

Congratulations on the Best Paper Award Winners from ICRA 2019 in Montreal, Canada!


2019 Best Conference Paper Award

Best Conference Paper Award

Michelle A. Lee, Yuke Zhu, Krishnan Srinivasan, Parth Shah, Silvio Savarese, Li Fei-Fei, Animesh Garg, and Jeannette Bohg
"Making Sense of Vision and Touch: Self-Supervised Learning of Multimodal Representations for Contact- Rich Tasks"


2019 Best Student Paper Award

Best Student Paper Award

Justin K. Yim, Eric K. Wang, and Ronald Fearing
"Drift-free Roll and Pitch Estimation for High-acceleration Hopping"


2019 Best Paper Award in Automation

 best paper award Automation 3

Changsheng Dai, Zhuoran Zhang, Yuchen Lu, Guanqiao Shan, Xian Wang, Qili Zhao, and Yu Sun
"Robotic Orientation Control of Deformable Cells"


2019 Best Paper Award in Cognitive Robotics

Best Paper Award in Cognitive Robotics

Keliang He, Andrew Wells, Lydia Kavraki, and Moshe Vardi
"Efficient Symbolic Reactive Synthesis for Finite-Horizon Tasks"


2019 Best Paper Award on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 

Best Paper Award on Human Robot Interaction HRI

Louis Dankovich and Sarah Bergbreiter
"Gesture Recognition via Flexible Capacitive Touch Electrodes"


2019 Best Paper Award in Medical Robotics

Best Paper Award in Medical Robotics

Ali Ebrahimi, Niravkumar Patel, Changyan He, Peter Gehlbach, Marin Kobilarov, and Iulian Iordachita
"Adaptive Control of Sclera Force and Insertion Depth for Safe Robot-Assisted Retinal Surgery"


2019 Best Paper Award in Robot Vision

Best Paper Award in Robot Vision

Xiaohan Fei, Alex Wong, and Stefano Soatto
"Geo-Supervised Visual Depth Prediction"


2019 Best Paper Award in Service Robotics

Best Paper Award in Service Robotics

Fouad Sukkar, Graeme Best, Chanyeol Yoo, and Robert Fitch
"Multi-Robot Region-of-Interest Reconstruction with Dec-MCTS"


2019 Best Paper Award on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 

Best Paper Award on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Nathan Bucki and Mark Wilfried Mueller
"Design and Control of a Passively Morphing Quadcopter"


2019 Best Paper Award on Mechanisms and Design

Best Paper Award on Mechanisms and Design

Carl John Salaan, Kenjiro Tadakuma, Yoshito Okada, Yusuke Sakai, Kazunori Ohno, and Satoshi Tadokoro
"Development and Experimental Validation of Aerial Vehicle with Passive Rotating Shell on Each Rotor"


2019 King- Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award

King Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award

Elliot Wright Hawkes, Hao Jiang, David L. Christensen, Amy K. Han and  Mark R. Cutkosky 
"Grasping Without Squeezing: Design and Modeling of Shear-Activated Grippers”


2019 Robotics and Automation Letters Best Paper Award

Letters Best Paper Award
Bryan Penin, Paolo Robuffo Giordano, and François Chaumette

"Vision-Based Reactive Planning for Aggressive Target Tracking While Avoiding Collisions and Occlusions"


2019 Robotics and Automation Magazine Best Paper Award

Robotics and Automation Magazine Best Paper Award
Christian Hubicki, Andy Abate, Patrick Clary, Siavash Rezazadeh, Mikhail Jones, Andrew Peekema, Johnathan Van Why, Ryan Domres, Albert Wu, William Martin, Hartmut Geyer and Jonathan Hurst

“Walking and Running with Passive Compliance: Lessons from Engineering: A Live Demonstration of the ATRIAS Biped”


2019 Best Paper Award on Multi-Robot Systems

Hai Zhu, Jelle Juhl, Laura Ferranti, and Javier Alonso-Mora
"Distributed Multi-Robot Formation Splitting and Merging in Dynamic Environments"


2019 Best Paper Award in Robot Manipulation

Chung Hee Kim and Jungwon Seo
"Shallow-Depth Insertion: Peg in Shallow Hole through Robotic In-Hand Manipulation"


More than 220 Local and Regional Chapters of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society are active around the world. Among other activities, local RAS chapters sponsor or cosponsor minisymposia, student competitions, and continuing education workshops. Local RAS chapters also provide valuable professional contacts, especially for engineers who may have few co-workers who are robotics or automation professionals. Congratulations and welcome to the following newly organized IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Chapters.

Region 5


  • IEEE Denver Section Jt. Chapter, Information Theory/Computer/Robotics and Automation Societies

Region 8


  • Politecnico Di Milano Robotics and Automation and Industrial Electronics Joint Societies Student Branch Chapter


  • Cankaya University, Power and Energy/Robotics and Automation/Computer/Industrial Applications/Aerospace and Electronic Systems Societies Joint Societies Student Branch Chapter
  • Eastern Mediterranean University Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter

Region 9


  • Universidad Politecnica Salesiana - Quito Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Ecuador Section

Region 10


  • Peoples Education Society University (PES University) Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Bangalore Section
  • Saveetha Engineering College - Kancheepuram Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Madras Section
  • SRM Institute of Science and Technology - Kattankulathur Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Madras Section

Thank you for participating in ICRA 2019's Scavenger Hunt! We hope you had a lot of fun---it sure looks like it! The results are in, and here 
they are:

In 1st place: Control Queens, by a landslide! Well done, and  congratulations.

In 2nd place, we have Team Wookie! Nice job!


 The goal of this photo scavenger hunt is to help meet fellow students and robotics leaders, enjoy the many conference opportunities, and give an excuse to step outside the conference venue to experience the unique sights, sounds, and foods of Montreal!

Conference Challenges:

  • Check out the welcome reception: #icra2019welcome
  • Shake hands with a keynote speaker: #icra2019keynote
  • Get the RAS president's autograph: #icra2019president
  • Say hi to a fellow student you've never met before: #icra2019newfriend
  • Take a selfie with a member of the RAS staff: #icra2019rasstaff
  • Buy someone a drink: #icra2019cheers
  • Say goodbye at the farewell reception: #icra2019solong
  • Take a picture of an interesting poster: #icra2019poster
  • Take a picture of an interesting exhibition: #icra2019exhibition

Local Challenges:

  • Eat a Montreal style sesame seed bagel #icra2019meetsbagel
  • Capture yourself with the biosphere (bonus points for trick photos) #icra2019biosphere
  • Learn about Montreal history with a walk through the old city and a picture with the Notre-Dame basilica. #icra2019basilica
  • Find the perfect bowl of Poutine and share it with a friend. #icra2019poutine
  • Check out the Botanical Gardens. #icra2019jardinbotanique
  • Take a picture of the city from the beautiful vantage point of Mont-Royal. #icra2019montroyal
  • Café Chat L’Heureux is North America's first cat cafe! Take a selfie with one of those cute kittens! #icra2019catcafe
  • Montreal is known for its exciting night life. Have a fun night out with friends! #icra2019montrealnightlife
  • Old Montreal has been called a "little piece of Europe." Want to know why? Check it out! #icra2019oldmontreal
  • Montreal has flavors of the French Caribbean. Find the must try Haitian restaurant of Montreal and get a picture with the cool wall art. #icra2019frenchcaribbean
  • Visit the Mile End (the city’s artsiest neighbourhood) and post a picture of some of the coolest art you find or take a group picture with friends from ICRA at the aire commune. #icra2019artattack
  • Find your favorite cafe or Poutine shop in old Montreal and share information for meeting up with your new friends! #icra2019favecafe

Don't forget, we have scavenger hunts at both ICRA and IROS. So, if you're coming to Macau this Fall for IROS, you'll have plenty of opportunities to become the next winning team.

Thanks everyone!

Deep learning and Machine Learning have gone through a massive growth in the past several years. In many domains, such as perception, vision, image recognition, image captioning, speech recognition, machine translation, and board games, in particular, deep learning has drastically outperformed traditional methods and overtaken them to become the method of choice. Will the same happen to robotics and automation? These approaches typically require massive amounts of labeled data, i.e., big data, and massive amounts of compute. In many real robotics and automation applications data is abundant but labeling sparse and expensive. (Deep) reinforcement learning often requires significantly more iterations than are feasible on real systems. Hence collecting sufficient amounts of data is impractical at best. Therefore, a lot of work is done in purely digital or virtual environments. In this special issue we will focus on approaches that have been validated on real world robots, scenarios, and automation problems. While a lot of progress has been achieved on this front in robotic and automation applications, still a lot of progress needs to be made in order to render deep learning approaches directly applicable. Robots and automation systems are interacting with the real world. Hence mistakes that might be costly in terms of lost revenue in approaches that operate in a purely digital world, can cause significant damage and loss of human lives. Therefore, safe learning becomes paramount. A related issue is interpretable learning, i.e. the capability to interpret learning processes, moving towards approaches where humans have the option to be in control and understand with sufficient human-readable details the decision processes of the machine. Successful applications in ‘neighboring’ fields characterized by limited amounts of sparse, labeled data coming from physical systems will also be considered.

Papers should follow the standard RAM guidelines. A full peer-review process will be utilized to select papers for the special issue. Submissions should be made through the RAM submission website by 15 September 2019.

Contributions are expected to present original research on deep learning and machine learning with real world applications in robotics and automation.


*Topics of Interest*

--- deep/machine learning

        -- supervised

        -- unsupervised

        -- reinforcement

--- sample efficient learning

        -- new methods

        -- use of models

        -- simulation to real transfer

        -- data augmentation

        -- embedding prior knowledge

        -- …

--- safe learning

        -- confidence estimates

        -- guarantees

        -- verification

        -- interpretable learning

        -- …

--- real applications and use case scenarios of deep/machine learning

        -- robotics

              - perception

              - control

              - planning

              - navigation

              - manipulation and grasping

              - …

        - automation

              - maintenance and inspection

              - production

              - quality management and assurance

              - product tracking

              - …

        -- success stories of deep/machine learning technologies in robotics and automation

        -- common issues and solutions in deep/machine learning applications in robotics and automation and neighboring fields such as:

              - gravitational waves detection

              - geophysics

              - high energy physics

              - …

*Tentative Schedule/Important Dates*

15 September 2019 - Submission deadline

1 November 2019 - First decision communicated to authors

15 December 2019 - Revised paper submitted

20 February 2020 - Final acceptance decision communicated to authors

10 March 2020 - Final manuscripts uploaded by authors

10 June 2020 - Special issue


*Guest Editors*


Fabio Bonsignorio

The BioRobotics Institute, SSSA and Heron Robots


RAS Geographic Region 2



David Hsu

National University of Singapore


RAS Geographic Region 3



Matthew Johnson-Roberson

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

RAS Geographic Region 1



Jens Kober

TU Delft

Delft, Netherlands

RAS Geographic Region 2


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