The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society - Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT) is engaging the academic and non-academic community to propose viable solutions in R&A to address relevant world problems through several initiatives that include competitions, funding impactful projects, and establishment of collaboration networks with academia, industry, and governments. The mission of RAS-SIGHT is the application of robotics and automation 
technologies for promoting humanitarian causes around the globe, and to leverage existing and emerging technologies for the benefit of humanity in under-served, under-developed areas in collaboration with existing global communities and organizations.

RAS-SIGHT’s activities broadly fall under Challenges and Projects. While Challenges are intended to advance the state-of-the-art in robotics and automation and provide a platform for researchers and developers to participate in a group setting working towards addressing problems with a humanitarian slant, Projects facilitate communities and associated organizations to work closely with robotics and automation researchers to elevate the quality of life for the residents of communities across the globe. RAS-SIGHT envisions Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenges (HRATCs) as an unprecedented opportunity for technologists from around the world to collaborate using their skills and education to benefit humanity. The problems (challenges) are framed with the environmental, cultural, structural, political, socio-economic, and resource constraints so that solutions can be developed, deployed, and sustained.

In this vein, RAS-SIGHT is soliciting proposals that when implemented would improve the quality of life for the beneficiaries. ***To date, 21 projects have been funded***. A listing of previously completed and currently running projects are available from http://ieee-ras.org/ras-sight/projects ('Digests' provide a 1-page summary and 'Reports' (for completed projects) provide more details).

Some important points worth noting:

  • The problem that you propose to solve should utilize robotics and/or automation technologies
  • It is strongly encouraged that the solution be developed and deployed with active involvement from the community or the end-users that it is intended to benefit
  • Sustainability beyond the completion of the project will be a key consideration

If you are interested, please submit a 4 page (max.) proposal in the standard IEEE conference format outlining:

  • the problem,
  • the solution,
  • related work, similar initiatives, and how the proposed project will achieve new results than what is currently available,
  • proposed partnerships with existing initiatives,
  • number of people who would be impacted,
  • previous experiences, both in terms of applied research and deployment,
  • project development timeline,
  • breakdown of anticipated costs, and how the funds would be used to support the project, and
  • short biographies of project members (with URLs of respective websites)

We anticipate to fund proposals in the US$2500-$5000 range from all Regions of IEEE. Please note that the awarded funds cannot be used to support wages or salaries of personnel or for supporting theoretical research. All submissions should be sent to Raj Madhavan, Chair, RAS-SIGHT at <raj.madhavan@ieee.org>.

Important Dates

22 April 2019 - Submission Deadline
10 May 2019 - Acceptance Notifications

Additional information is available from:

Automation Industry’s Most Prestigious Honor to be presented at Automate 2019 in Chicago, IL USA on 10 April.

At a special dinner in conjunction with the Automate 2019 Show and Conference in Chicago on 10 April, RIA will honor Dr. Howie Choset, robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University and co-founder of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute.

2019 Engelberger Robotics Award Recipient

howie choset

Howie Choset, IEEE and RAS Fellow, will receive the award for Education. In addition to being an inspiring professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Choset has lead key research efforts to help solve significant problems in diverse areas such as surgery, manufacturing, infrastructure inspection and search rescue. Additionally, he has co-founded several companies, including Medrobotics for surgical system, Hebi Robotics for modular robots, and Bito Robotics for autonomous guided vehicles. His FDA-approved surgical snake robot has been in use in the U.S. and Europe since 2015. Add to that his role as a co-founder of the ARM Institute that is aimed at advancing technology development and education for robotics in manufacturing, and his role as a founding editor of the journal Science Robotics, and you see that Dr. Choset is well-deserving of industry’s highest honor.

 

Engelberger Robotics Award

The award is named for Joseph F. Engelberger, known throughout the world as the ”father of robotics.” Engelberger was founder and president of Unimation, Inc., the world's first industrial robot manufacturer. The Engelberger Robotics Awards are presented to individuals for excellence in technology development, application, education and leadership in the robotics industry. Each winner receives a $5,000 honorarium and commemorative medallion with the inscription: "Contributing to the advancement of the science of robotics in the service of mankind." The awards recognize outstanding individuals from all over the world. Since the award’s inception in 1977, it has been bestowed upon 128 robotics leaders from 17 different nations.

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society membership will elect six new members of the Administrative Committee in 2019, each to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2020. The AdCom is the governing body of the Society.

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RESPONSIBILITIES OF ADCOM MEMBERS

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

ELIGIBILITY

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

TO NOMINATE A CANDIDATE

To nominate a candidate or offer yourself as a candidate, contact the Society at ras@ieee.org by 1 May 2019.

PETITION CANDIDATES

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

Completed petitions must be received by 1 May 2019 to be placed on the ballot.

SELECTION OF FINAL BALLOT

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

Members and non-members can now add Society membership when giving the Gift of IEEE Membership. The new option to add Society memberships is currently available as part of the half-year membership period, where IEEE and Society memberships are half price. Give the Gift of IEEE Membership for half price is available for the entire half-year period (1 March through 15 August).

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Help someone in your life find their professional home in IEEE. Start by giving them the gift of IEEE Membership and consider adding a Society or two! IEEE membership will impact their professional and social life for years to come. IEEE delivers access to the industry's technical information, offers career development tools, and provides access to IEEE's discount programs. Now you can add Society memberships to provide access to their professional benefits as well. Don't wait: get someone started today!

For additional information, please contact Denise Maestri: d.maestri@ieee.org

Each year, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society offers financial support for three Technical Education Programs (RAS-TEP), also known as "Summer Schools." In an effort to bring RAS closer to its membership, three programs are held each year: one in the Americas, one in Europe/MiddleEast/Africa, and one in Asia/Pacific Rim.

The RAS-TEP program is jointly run by the RAS Member Activities Board (MAB) and the RAS Technical Activities Board (TAB). These Boards will review proposals and select the TEP programs each year. The program sponsors up to three schools per year around the world. Each of the three Technical Education Programs (Summer Schools) will receive up to USD$25,000.00 in funding from RAS. Funding should be used to reduce the event cost for RAS Student Members, and to assist in securing high quality instructors.

The review of TEP 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. One or more relevant RAS Technical Committees (TCs) must endorse all submitted proposals. Current TCs are listed at: www.ieee-ras.org/technical-committees.

Guidelines for hosting an RAS-Technical Education Program are HERE 

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PROPOSAL SUBMISSION

Technical Education Program Proposal - online proposal form

IMPORTANT DATES

Deadlines for the submission of 2019 proposals EXTENDED: 1 May 2019  10 May 2019
Decision: ICRA 2019
Notification: July 2019

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