Congratulations to the following ICRA 2015 Award Recipients! Winners were announced and honored during the RAS Awards Luncheon which took place on 28 May 2015 in Seattle, (WA) USA. The complete list of Recipients and Finalists, with photos, is available here.

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Best Associate Editor Award
Eric Diller, University of Toronto, Canada
Paolo Robuffo Giordano, CNRS, Irisa/Inria Rennes, France

Best Reviewer Award
Renaud Detry, Université de Liège, Belgium
Andrej Gams, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
Hedvig Kjellstrom, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Raul Suarez, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain

Best Paper Awards

ICRA Automation Best Paper
Design, Modeling and Control of a Modular Contactless Wafer Handling System
Bassem Dahroug, Guillaume J. Laurent, Valérian Guelpa, Nadine Le Fort-Piat

ICRA Cognitive Robotics Best Paper Award
Grounding Spatial Relations for Outdoor Robot Navigation
Abdeslam Boularias, Felix Duvallet, Jean Oh, Anthony Stentz

ICRA Medical Robotics Best Paper Award
An Ankle-Foot Prosthesis Emulator with Control of Plantarflexion and Inversion-Eversion Torque
Steven H. Collins, Myunghee Kim, Tianjian Chen, Tianyao Chen

ICRA Robot Manipulation Best Paper Award
Learning Contact-Rich Manipulation Skills with Guided Policy Search
Sergey Levine, Nolan Wagener, Pieter Abbeel

ICRA Robot Vision Best Paper Award
Work Smart, Not Hard: Recalling Relevant Experiences for Vast-Scale but Time-Constrained Localisation
Chris Linegar, Winston Churchill, Paul Newman

ICRA Service Robotics Best Paper Award
RoboSherlock: Unstructured Information Processing for Robot Perception
Michael Beetz, Ferenc Balint-Benczedi, Nico Blodow, Daniel Nyga, Thiemo Wiedemeyer, Zoltan-Csaba Marton

ICRA Best Student Paper 
Grasping without Squeezing: Shear Adhesion Gripper with Fibrillar Thin Film
Elliot Wright Hawkes, David Christensen, Amy Kyungwon Han, Hao Jiang, Mark Cutkosky

ICRA Best Conference Paper
Observability, Identifiability and Sensitivity of Vision-Aided Inertial Navigation
Joshua Hernandez, Konstantine Tsotsos, Stefano Soatto


Amazon Picking Challenge
Organizers: Pete Wurman and Joe Romano, Kiva Systems
In recognition of teams that demonstrate the best automated item picking.
1st Place - $20,000
Team RBO, TU Berlin, Oliver Brock
2nd Place - $5,000
Team MIT, MIT, Alberto Rodriquez Garcia
3rd Place - $1,000
Team Grizzly, Dataspeed Inc. & Oakland University, Paul Fleck

Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge
Organizers: Raj Madhavan, Lino Marques, Edson Prestes, Prithviraj Dasgupta
Winner: Team NUS: National Univ.of Singapore, Singapore

Humanoids Application Challenge 
Organizers: Kayla Kim and Jinwook Kim, ROBOTIS CO
In recognition of the team that demonstrates the most creative application of humanoid research.
Winner: Team Snobots, University of Manitoba

Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 1
Autonomous Mobility & Accuracy Challenge
In recognition of the team with the most accurate trajectory traversals
Winner: University of Hawaii, Manoa (Sammy Khamis, Edward Nerad, Leanne King, Caralyn King, Aaron Ohta)

Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 2
Microassembly Challenge
In recognition of assembling the most micro-scale components in a micro channel
Winner: ETH Zurich (Samuel Charreyron, Janis Edelmann, Andrew Petruska, Franziska Ullrich, Chengzhi Hu, Hen-Wei Huang, Qi Zhang, Erdem Siringil, Roel Pieters, Bradley J. Nelson)

Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 3
MMC Showcase & Poster Session
In recognition of the most innovative mobile micro-robotic system
Winner: UVT Romania, University Valahia of Targoviste (Ioan Alexandru Ivan, Florin Dragomir, Valentin Gurgu, Nicolae Radulescu, Mihaela Ivan)


posted 11 June 2015



The IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine is set to publish a special issue on Educational Robotics in June 2016.  Currently, there is a call for papers with a deadline for submission of 15 July 2015. 

The scope of this special issue is to advance knowledge in the field of robotics applied to formal and informal education. The idea of robots as educational tools goes back to the late 60s, when Seymour Papert formulated the theory on learning called “constructionism”, which points out the relevant role played by artefacts in the learning process. Educational robotics broadly refers to the use of robots for educational purposes. There are several ways in which robotics and robots have been employed in educational activities: from object of study to medium that facilitates the transfer of knowledge and even companion, in which the robot performs the role of tutor or peer during the learning process. 

Complete details are available at

Posted 17 April 2015.



At the IEEE Technical Activities Board Meeting Series held in January 2015, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) received approval to launch a new periodical. Under the name, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), the first issue is planned for January 2016.

The scope of this journal is to publish peer-reviewed articles that provide a timely and concise account of innovative research ideas and application results, reporting significant theoretical findings and application case studies in areas of robotics and automation.

The primary goal of RA-L is to better serve the RAS membership and the robotics and automation community at large, which has strongly increased in number and productivity, by providing more capacity for high quality, fully reviewed journal papers. Additional goals of RA-L are to provide a publication process that is complementary to the existing evolutionary process from RAS conferences into journal papers and to improve the efficiency of the peer-review process.

RA-L will publish papers reporting on innovative ideas and unpublished results that need to be rapidly published. To this purpose, RA-L will provide a final decision on manuscripts within six months from submission. Papers will be six pages long, with at most two extra pages allowed at a charge, and will allow open-access for those authors who require it. The review cycle will follow the highest standards of IEEE periodicals. Each paper will be assigned to a Senior Editor, hence to an Associate Editor and at least two independent reviewers. The review process may also include a fast revise-and-resubmit process, upon which the Letters Editorial Board (LEB) will make a final decision. Finally, accepted papers will be electronically archived on IEEE Xplore, and will be available for early access by readers only few days after submission of the final version, while an edited and XML-tagged version for searching and indexing will be available soon after. RA-L is an electronic-only journal.

A unique feature of RA-L is the opportunity for authors to publish a paper in a peer-reviewed journal and present the same paper at the flagship conference of RAS: the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). While submission to RA-L is open throughout the year, indeed, there will be a time window during which authors will have an option for their submission to be also considered for presentation at the following ICRA. This year, the window is between 1 July and 31 August 2015 for ICRA 2016.

Further details on the process to submit to RA-Letters will be available in the coming weeks.

Posted 7 April 2015



A Discipline-Specific Workshop is being sponsored by CRA-W and the Coalition to Diversify Computing affiliated with ICRA 2015. Student travel scholarships available for U.S. students.

The goal of this workshop is to introduce students to the exciting research area of robotics and to provide students currently doing research in robotics with valuable career-building information. Robotics is a very unique field that requires applied engineering, basic science, and strong creativity. The integration of these three areas often proves challenging. Despite this challenge, robots are becoming ubiquitous tools for many daily tasks including manufacturing, package delivery, and in home assistance. In order to prepare the next generation of robotics researchers, this workshop will address several discipline-specific challenges of robotics and strategies to overcome these challenges including the integration of hardware and software and multi-disciplinary integration required.

Undergraduate and graduate students are the primary audience of this workshop. Scholarships will be available to fund travel and attendance. Underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline:
11 April 2015 at 11:59 pm PDT

The scholarship announcements are expected to be made by 18 April 2015.

The application is available at:

Workshop webpage

For additional information, please contact:
Cindy L. Bethel, Ph.D.
Mississippi State University


posted 6 April 2015



Will you be organizing a Conference in the coming months? Are you considering organizing a conference? Then, this Workshop is for YOU!

RAS will host a Conference Organizers Workshop at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2015) on Wednesday afternoon, 27 May from 13:30-17:30. Get answers to your questions about the organization, requirements, logistics, technical program and finances of conferences, both large and small. Speak with the experts for advice on how to make sure your conference is executed flawlessly!

Space is limited, so we encourage you to register as soon as your availability is confirmed.

Please register for this FREE workshop on-line:

Presenters to include:
RAS Associate VP - Conference Finance: Paolo Fiorini
RAS Associate VP - Conference Operations: Torsten Kroeger
RAS Treasurer: Ron Lumia
IEEE Conference Expert: Alicia Zupeck
IEEE Meetings, Conferences and Events: Julie Amodeo
IEEE RAS Staff: Kathy Colabaugh

For more information see:

posted 18 March 2015



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 and Asia and Pacific.

The RAS-TEP program is jointly run by the Member Activities Board (MAB) and the Technical Activities Board (TAB). The program is intended to sponsor or co-sponsor up to three summer schools per year around the world. One of the three summer schools will be fully sponsored by RAS to a level of $40,000, and it will rotate annually through RAS' three geographical regions in a round robin fashion. The other two summer schools will be cosponsored with interested organizations in the other two geographical regions up to a level of $20,000 each. In 2016, Full sponsorship ($40,000) is available for for Area 3 (Asia, Pacific)

The review of Technical Education Program proposals is based on assessments from two different viewpoints, the first one with respect to the general structure, including organizational matters and budget, and the second one with respect to the technical content. Suited Technical Committees (TCs) of the RAS have to endorse the proposal. 

RAS Technical Committee List

RAS Technical Education Programs are designed to directly benefit RAS Student Members. At least 50% of the attendees should be RAS members, and will receive support through TEP funding.

Techncial Education Program Proposal - online form

Deadlines for the submission of 2016 proposals: 1 May 2015
Decision Notification: 1 July 2015

posted 10 March 2015



Call for Papers: IEEE Transactions on Robotics
Special Issue on Movement Science for Humans and Humanoids: Methods and Applications
Paper Submission deadline: 1 August 2015

Over the past three decades, computationally efficient techniques for the analysis, simulation, and optimization of articulated bodies have been developed by the robotics and mathematical communities. With recent advances in computational power and improved algorithms, these techniques are being applied to increasingly complex structures like the human body. More generally, the use of robotics formalisms for quantitative human motion analysis and synthesis is enabling new applications in, e.g., medical diagnosis, monitoring and feedback during rehabilitation and sports training, animation, ergonomic analysis and design, and improved rehabilitation and assistive robots and devices. At the same time, methods initially developed for human motion analysis in other fields like biomechanics, neuroscience, computer graphics, and computer vision are increasingly being used in robotics, in topics ranging from human-robot interaction to imitation learning.

This special issue seeks submissions describing novel work synthesizing multidisciplinary techniques for human and humanoid motion analysis, synthesis, and control.

Topics of interest include:
- Kinematic and dynamic modeling and analysis of the human body
- Dynamic parameter estimation and optimum experimental design
- Optimal control of human and humanoid motions
- Inverse optimal control for identification of objective functions during human motor control
- Motion recognition, segmentation, modeling, and analysis
- Quantitative analysis methods for rehabilitation and sports training
- Robotics techniques for animation
- Neuromuscular control
- Musculoskeletal dynamics
- Rehabilitation robotics
- Human motion analysis and understanding for imitation learning and human-robot interaction
- Human-inspired control algorithms for robots
- Model-predictive control for movement science
- Human movement informing the design and control of assistive devices, exoskeletons and prostheses
- Robotics-based motion synthesis

Contributions must have a central connection to robotics; pure psychomotor or biomechanics studies are outside the scope of this special issue. Interested authors are encouraged to contact the special issue editors with an abstract of their paper to confirm that their submission is within the scope of the special issue.

Abstracts should be sent via email to

Call for Papers: 1 March 2015
Deadline for Initial Paper Submission: 1 August 2015
Decisions for First Round Review: 15 October 2015
Deadline for Revised Paper Submission: 15 December 2015
Target Publication Date: February or April 2016

Guest Editors:
Dana Kulic, University of Waterloo
Katsu Yamane, Disney Research
Gentiane Venture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Emel Demircan, University of Tokyo/Stanford University
Katja Mombaur, University of Heidelberg

posted 9 March 2015

Outdoor robotic competition on humanitarian demining
19-21 August 2015, Antofagasta, Chile

Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is the first international outdoor robotic competition on humanitarian demining. It aims at raising the public awareness of the seriousness of the 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 constructs a teleoperated/autonomous unmanned ground/aerial vehicle that must be able to search for underground and aboveground anti-personnel landmines and UXOs. The position and the type of each detected object are visualized and overlaid on the minefield map. The robot must be able to navigate through rough terrain that mimics a real minefield.

The fourth edition of Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is organized by Universidad Catolica del Norte (Catholic University of the North) in conjunction with The 6th International Conference on Computing and Informatics in Northern Chile (INFONOR-Chile 2015).

Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is organized in collaboration with IEEE Robotics and Automation SocietyEgypt Chapter (2015 IEEE RAS Chapter of the Year Award and 2012 Chapter of the Year in IEEE Region 8) and Hadath for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The competition is technically co-sponsored by IEEE RAS Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT). It is supported by Executive Secretariat for the Demining & Development of the North West Coast, Mines Action & Human Rights Foundation and Protection against Armaments & Consequences and African Robotics Network (AFRON).

The ultimate goal of the Minesweepers competition is to put into practice the new strategic mission of IEEE, " 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. The competition also motivates the participants to create new companies and industries geared towards minefield reconnaissance and mapping technologies. Moreover, the applicability of the robotic systems presented in this competition can be extended to a wide range of other applications such as security and surveillance, search and rescue, health monitoring of civil infrastructure, pipeline monitoring, and environment monitoring.

Competition Registration: 1 Feb to 15 Mar 2015
Video Submission Phase: 3 July 2015
Notification of Acceptance: 15 July 2015
International Competition:19-21 Aug 2015

For more information, please visit:

posted 6 March 2015

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society membership will elect six new members of the Administrative Committee in 2015, each to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2016. The AdCom is the governing body of the Society.

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 of boards and/or committees of the Society.

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 or offer yourself as a candidate, contact the Society at by 1 May 2015.

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 to obtain a paper petition form or to set up an electronic petition.

Completed petitions must be received by 1 May 2015 to be placed on the ballot.

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

posted 3 March 2015



Call for Participation:
*ICRA 2015 Forum and Interactive Display Featuring Robotics in Developing Countries*

Interest in robotics is increasing in many parts of the world, and developing countries are no exception. From research projects aimed at developing novel robotic systems for unique challenges, to education and outreach programs that use robotics to enhance students' interest in STEM fields, the collection of robotics projects in developing countries provides a fascinating panorama of the potential and impact robotics can have around the world.

For the first time at ICRA 2015, a session will be specifically dedicated to highlighting robotics work in developing countries. An interactive display at the conference will feature information on a diverse array of robotics projects in developing countries around the world. Work from a wide range of categories will be featured, including but not limited to research, education, outreach, academic work, industry work, governmental work, and NGO work. This interactive display will also be accessible on the World Wide Web via the conference website beyond ICRA 2015.

Furthermore, a forum during the ICRA 2105 conference will allow for deeper interactions, both in person and via remote participation, with authors of selected projects highlighted in the interactive display. Discussions will center on themes such as relevant applications, current trends and future directions of robotics in developing countries, opportunities and challenges of robotics work in developing countries, and opportunities for "south-south" as well as "north-south" collaboration.

All researchers, educators, and practitioners working in robotics in developing countries, as well as those with an interest in this work are invited to participate.

How To Participate
Submissions are invited in a variety of categories, including (but not limited to) research, education, outreach, academic work, industry work, governmental work, and NGO work. A 2-3 page extended abstract, in the standard IEEE format, describing the project, can be submitted via Paper Plaza ( This PDF document should include a link to a representative photo of the project, to be downloaded and featured in the interactive display. It can also optionally have links to additional photographs related to the project. Finally, a short video about the project (3 minutes, 10 MB maximum) can also be uploaded to Paper Plaza with the submission.

The organizers will evaluate the submissions, and select relevant submissions for inclusion in the interactive display, and a subset of submissions for presentations at the forum. Acceptance notifications containing further steps will follow once the selection process is complete. The forum will be held on Friday 29 May at ICRA 2015. There will be an opportunity to remotely participate in the forum, without being registered for the full ICRA conference.

Important Dates
Entry Submissions Open: 30 January 2015
Entry Submissions Deadline: 31 March 2015
Acceptance Notifications (Interactive Display): Rolling, from 10 February 2015
Acceptance Notifications (Forum): 15 April 2015
Forum @ ICRA'15: Friday, 29 May 2015

The organizers would like to thank the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the ICRA 2015 organizing committee for the support of the forum on robotics in developing countries.

M. Bernardine Dias (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
G. Ayorkor Korsah (Ashesi University College, Ghana)
Chinwe Ekenna (Texas A&M University, USA)


posted 6 February 2015

The purpose of this award is to highlight and honor the achievements of the inventors with value creating ideas and entrepreneurs who propel those ideas into world-class products. This is a key element to the continuing success of robotics and automation today. Active infusion of innovation and entrepreneurship into technological advancement is regarded critical at this juncture to strengthen a healthy balance between research and practice as well as a healthy growth of industrial and commercial sectors in robotics and automation.

In a joint event the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) will therefore recognize and honor outstanding achievements of entrepreneurs in the commercialization of innovative robotic and automation technology. These achievements will be recognized in a specially organized IEEE/IFR Joint Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation, which is being held in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2015). The selected finalists will have the opportunity to present their story of the genesis of a successful innovative product in robotics and automation from its very inception to the final state of commercialization in a series of plenary lectures. An evaluation board consisting of distinguished individuals from industry and academia will choose the winner. A prestigious plaque and a US$ 2,000 prize will be awarded to the winner.

Applications should describe the original work that has been translated into a commercial success. The application must include statements regarding:
- description of the innovation/product/application
- stages of the product genesis
- novelty/uniqueness of the product
- market analysis, economic viability and pathway for commercialization
- sustained competitive advantage
- current and future impact on and relevance to industry

Applications should not exceed a maximum length of 5 pages. Product descriptions and public relation material will not be accepted as an application. References and links to online material are permitted.

Application Deadline is 28 February 2015

Submission of Applications

Please send as PDF document (< 6 MB) to IFR Secretariat –

Call for Applications

posted 29 January 2015



An extremely successful RAS Technical Education Program was held in July 2014 on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, PA USA. International Leaders in the field of Surgical Robotics presented eager students with lectures, hands-on laboratory experience, introduction to novel technologies and emerging themes. 

In efforts to increase the reach of this distinguished group of Educators on such an important topic, presentations were captured and are now available to audiences worldwide! 

Please visit the following for additional information:
Individual Speakers and Presentations
Event Showcase

Are we on the right track with providing this type of Educational content? We'd love to hear from you!
Please send comments or suggestions to

posted 27 January 2015



The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is being held 14-18 March 2015 in Sendai City, Japan. The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society is co-organizing the Public Forum on Social Implementation of Disaster Robotics.

This symposium introduces the current state of disaster robots and the gap to their social implementation by the world top-runners, and discusses the action plans to be taken for the future disaster mitigation.

Robotics is becoming a powerful tool for disaster mitigation, response and recovery after its history of 50 years. For example, unmanned aerial vehicles can quickly survey wide disaster areas, remotely-operated underwater vehicles can repair leakage of subsea oil plants, and unmanned ground vehicles work in contaminated areas of damaged nuclear power plants.

The contribution of robotics is mainly 1) for performing tasks that human and conventional tools cannot (e.g. those at inaccessible places and in contaminated areas), 2) for reducing risks (e.g. those of potential explosion, toxic agents and radiation), and/or 3) for reducing time and cost (e.g. quick surveillance of potentially damaged facilities at high places without scaffolds). 

The recent evolution of robotics and component technologies is rapidly enhancing their applicable areas and tasks. Remote robotic systems, for example, could gather information from sky 20 years ago. At present, they can approach to structures of interest in the neighborhood for detailed visual inspection from sky, and can enter damaged buildings through narrow entrance for searching victims. Autonomy and robot intelligence reduce responders' load, and integrate gathered information with measured 3D maps. For this reason, specialists predict that robotics would become an essential tool of disaster mitigation, response and recovery in ten years.

For complete details visit the link here or under the Education, Outreach, Career & Video tab from the RAS home page.

Posted 26 January 2015 



IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members. The honor is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.

If you know of an IEEE colleague who is a Senior Member or Life Senior Member in good standing, has completed five years of service in any grade of IEEE Membership and who has made an outstanding contribution to the electronic or electrical engineering profession, you can nominate this person in one of four categories: Application Engineer/Practitioner, Educator, Research Engineer/Scientist or Technical Leader.

Nominations for the Fellow Class of 2016 are now being accepted. To learn more about the Fellow program and the application process, visit the About the IEEE Fellow Program page. The deadline is 1 March 2015.

Additional information about the IEEE Fellow program, and a list of RAS Fellows is available HERE.

posted 26 January 2015



The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society recognizes the following individuals for their outstanding accomplishments and service to RAS and the robotics and automation community. They will be honored during an award luncheon to be held at ICRA 2015, on 28 May at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, WA, USA. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding recipients!

RAS Pioneer Award
Daniel E. Whitney - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MA) USA
"For his fundamental pioneering contributions to robotic assembly and its integration into product development"

RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation
Bruno Siciliano - University of Naples Federico II, Italy
"For his outstanding leadership in the robotics and automation community as a research innovator, an inspired educator, a dedicated contributor of professional service, an ambassador of science and technology"

IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award
Ren Luo - National Taiwan University, Taiwan
"In recognition of his outstanding leadership and distinguished contributions to RAS on administrative committees, publications, and conferences"
Lynne E. Parker - University of Tennessee, (TN) USA
"For her work as Editor-in-Chief of RAS Conference Editorial Board, her service on many RAS committees, and her contributions to RAS conferences"

RAS Early Career Award (Academic)
Sami Haddadin - Leibniz University of Hanover, Germany
"For fundamental contributions to robot safety, physical Human-Robot Interaction, and soft-robotics control"
Robert J. Webster III - Vanderbilt University, (TN) USA
"For innovations in the design, modeling, and control of flexible minimally invasive surgical robots"

RAS Early Career Award (Industry/Government)
Leila Takayama - Google[x], (CA) USA
"For bringing empirical social science research into the development of personal and telepresence robotics"

IEEE Inaba Technical Award for Innovation Leading to Production
Hermano Igo Krebs - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MA) USA
"For contributions to medical technology innovation and translation into commercial applications for Rehabilitation Robotics"

IEEE Robotics and Automation Award for Product Innovation
HandInScan Ltd. 
"In recognition of "Hand-in-Scan" which allows objective evaluation of hand hygiene"

RAS Most Active Technical Committee Award
Technical Committee on Haptics
Chairs: Antonio Frisoli, William Provancher, Jee-Hwan Ryu

RAS Chapter of the Year Award
IEEE RAS Egypt Chapter
Chair: Alaa Khamis

posted 20 January 2015



IEEE R&A Technical Field Award
Nominations Due 31 January 2015!

Nominations are due 31 January 2015 for the 2016 IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation. This is the most prestigious award presented by the IEEE in the field of robotics and automation and includes a medal and a $US 10,000 honorarium. IEEE TFAs are awarded for contributions or leadership in a specific field of interest of the IEEE and are among the highest awards presented on behalf of the IEEE Board of Directors.

Visit for a description of the award criteria and instructions on submitting a nomination.

The 2015 IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation will be presented to Rodney Allen Brooks of Rethink Robotics for "For pioneering contributions to and leadership in research and commercialization of autonomous robotics, spanning mobile, humanoid, service, and manufacturing robotics." The presentation will take place at the Award Ceremony on 28 May during ICRA 2015 in Seattle, WA USA.

posted 15 January 2015



Congratulations to Dr. William R. Hamel for receiving the 2014 Ray Goertz Award on June 16, 2014 at the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Annual Meeting in Reno, NV, USA.

The Ray Goertz Award was established in 1985 to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of remote technology in hazardous environments. It honors the late Raymond C. Goertz for his lifetime contribution to the advancement of remote handling systems and for his development of the master-slave manipulator. Starting with the planning of the first formal informational exchange meeting held in 1951, Ray Goertz was also instrumental in the founding of the Robotics and Remote Systems Division (RRSD), formerly known as Remote Systems Technology Division (RSTD). This award is presented approximately every two years, it is an ANS level award, and it is the highest honor presented by the Robotics and Remote Systems Division.

Hamel stated, "The Ray Geortz Award is the highest recognition one can receive from the nuclear community regarding technical contributions to robotics and remote technology. I am deeply humbled and appreciative to receive the award. Over the years, I have admired the contributions and accomplishments of those who have previously received the award. To now be on that list is an unexpected and cherished career accomplishment for me. I am very thankful to have been considered worthy of such a distinguished honor."

This outstanding award was given to Hamel because of his commendable contributions in the area of robotics and remote systems for nuclear environments while at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee, spanning from the 1970s until now. His primary contributions include technical and visionary leadership in the creation of the first microprocessor-based servomanipulator system, the jointly developed Central Research Laboratories (CRL)/ORNL M-2 dual arm force reflecting manipulator system. All servomanipulator systems have since been influenced by that early design. Hamel continued to advance the field of robotics and remote systems by leading the development of the advanced servomanipulator system, a remotely maintainable dual arm system with an architecture amenable to rad hardening designed to support spent fuel reprocessing. He then furthered his professional experience by co-leading, with program managers at various national laboratories, the Robotics Technology Development Program (RTDP) for the Department of Energy (DOE), which is one of the largest U.S. robotics-related research programs ever established. The RTDP was active throughout the 1990s in generating technology solutions for cleanup of DOE sites. Hamel was also instrumental in early experiments in telerobotics, and has consistently contributed technical papers to RRSD conferences since ANS's first topicals in the early 1980s.

posted 7 January 2015



Congratulations to the six RAS members elected by the membership to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2015. 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:


Wolfram Burgard
University of Freiburg, Germany



Yasushi Nakauchi
University of Tsukuba, Japan


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


Lydia Kavraki
Rice University, (TX) USA



Richard Vaughan
Simon Fraser University, Canada


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


Danica Kragic
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden


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


Zhi Dong Wang
Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan


 posted 19 December 2014



Congratulations to the following RAS Members - elevated to Fellow grade, effective 1 January 2015!


2015 RAS Fellows evaluated by the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society:


Wolfram Burgard
University of Freiburg, Germany
"for contributions to mobile robot navigation and simultaneous localization and mapping"

Howie Choset
Carnegie Mellon University (PA), USA
"for contributions to the design, control and planning of highly-articulated robots"

Henrik Christensen
Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), USA
"for contributions to estimation methods for robot localization and mapping"

Dieter Fox
University of Washington (WA), USA
"for contributions to Bayesian state estimation and robotic perception"

Sylvain Martel
Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (QC), Canada
"for contributions to medical micro- and nano-robotics"

Jean-Pierre Merlet
Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA), France
"for contributions to parallel robots"

Paul Newman
University of Oxford, United Kingdom
"for contributions to robot navigation"

Moshe Shoham
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
"for contributions to robot manipulators and miniature medical robots"

Stefano Stramigioli
University of Twente, The Netherlands
"for contributions to modeling, control and realization of complex robotics systems"

Yu Sun
University of Toronto, (ON), Canada
"for contributions to automated manipulation of biological cells"

Dong Sun
City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
"for contributions to robot-aided manipulation of biological cells"

Xiaolan Xie
Ecole Nationale Superieure, France
"for contributions to systems engineering for healthcare and manufacturing"


2015 RAS Fellows evaluated by other IEEE Societies:


Evaluated by the IEEE Computer Society:
Dan Halperin
Tel Aviv University, Israel
"for contributions to robust geometric algorithms for robotics and automation"

Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Randal Beard
Brigham Young University (UT), USA
"for contributions to the theory and practice of guidance, control, and team coordination of unmanned aerial vehicles"

Evaluated by the IEEE Control Systems Society:
Spiridon Reveliotis
Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), USA
"for contributions to discrete event systems for resource allocation"

Evaluated by the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society:
Kiyoshi Ohishi
Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan
"for contributions to development of fast and robust motion control systems"

Evaluated by the IEEE Sensors Council:
Weileun Fang

National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
"for contributions to measurement methods and process technologies for micro-electro-mechanical systems"

Evaluated by the IEEE Signal Processing Society:
Robert Safranek
Benevue, Inc. (NJ), USA
"for contributions to perceptual image and video compression and quality"

posted 26 November 2014



Special Issue on Bioinspired Motor Control for Articulated Robots

Deadline for Paper Submission: 15 March 2015

Publication Schedule: December 2015

IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine seeks articles for a Special Issue on Bioinspired Motor Control of Articulated Robots. The use of bioinspired solutions for controlling articulated robots is considerably increasing. Particularly, the idea of generating movements out of the combination of a subset of basic primitives is very promising for simplifying both learning and control of complex movements in articulated robots.

The scientific challenges related to the use of bioinspired approaches, and specifically motor primitives, for controlling articulated robots can be grouped in the following main topics: learning and adaptivity, smooth rejection of disturbances and stabilization, coordination of multiple (redundant) joints, computational complexity and modularity, and optimality principles for motor planning and execution.


The scope of this special issue encompasses articles that address one or more of the aforementioned challenges related to the use of Bioinspired Motor Control of Articulated Robots. Application scenarios include (but are not limited to):

• Humanoid robotics,
• Bipedal walking robots,
• Multi-legged robots,
• Animaloids,
• Swimming robots,
• Prosthetics,
• Exoskeletons and active orthoses for motion assistance and rehabilitation.

Theoretical work will be considered provided that there is a clear focus on possible applications and long-term impact on robotics and automation. Articles shall provide clear evidence of the advantages of the proposed bioinspired control solutions with respect to state-of-the-art approaches.

Call for papers: November 2014

Deadline for paper submission: 15 March 2015

First review: August 2015

Final review: September 2015

Publication: December 2015

Guest Editors:

Nicola Vitiello, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Italy),
Auke Ijspeert
, Biorobotics Laboratory at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - EPFL (Switzerland),
Stefan Schaal, Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California (USA),



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