Seth Hutchinson will serve as RAS President Elect in 2018-2019. During the 6 October meeting in Madrid, Spain, the RAS Administrative Committee elected Hutchinson to serve as President Elect under President, Wolfram Burgard and to assume the Society presidency in January 2020. He is an IEEE Fellow and has served RAS on the Administrative Committee, as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, as Editor-in-Chief of the ICRA Conference Editorial Board, and on numerous other RAS Committees and RAS Conferences.

hutchinson seth2016 small

Seth Hutchinson is Professor and KUKA Chair for Robotics in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines. His research in robotics spans the areas of planning, sensing, and control. He has published more than 200 papers on these topics, and is coauthor of the books "Principles of Robot Motion: Theory, Algorithms, and Implementations," published by MIT Press, and "Robot Modeling and Control," published by Wiley. Hutchinson is an Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was Professor
of ECE until 2018, serving as Associate Head for Undergraduate Affairs from 2001 to 2007. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1988. Hutchinson is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Congratualtions to Ayanna Howard and her Team at Zyrobotics, selected as the first grantee of MicroSoft's AI for Accessibility.  

In May 2018, Microsoft announced AI for Accessibility - a $25 million program that is aimed toward providing AI tools to developers in order to accelerate the creation of accessible solutions to benefit people with disabilities. The initiative is to be spanned over a period of five years.

Atlanta-based Zyrobotics has been cited by Microsoft as the first grantee of AI for Accessibility. The company develops science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) games and learning tools aimed towards education of young children, and it will be using Microsoft's help under the aforementioned program to develop AI solutions primarily centered around accessibility.

Zyrobotics' ambitions of creating technologies that would make reading easier for all students - regardless of whether they may or may not be facing learning disabilities.

Ayanna Howard

Ayanna Howard is currently serving as Editor in Chief of the RAS ICRA Conference Editorial Board, is Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, and Founder & CTO at Zyrobotics.

RAS Administrative Committee Member, Carme Torras, publishes a Novel based on an imagined future with robots. 

CarmeTorres Novel

The Vestigial Heart
A Novel of the Robot Age

By Carme Torras
Translated by Josephine Swarbrick

A thirteen-year-old girl wakes up in a future where human emotions are extinct and people rely on personal-assistant robots to navigate daily life.

Imagine a future in which many human emotions are extinct, and “emotional masseuses” try to help people recover those lost sensations. Individuals rely on personal-assistant robots to navigate daily life. Students are taught not to think but to employ search programs. Companies protect their intellectual property by erasing the memory of their employees. And then imagine what it would feel like to be a sweet, smart thirteen-year-old girl from the twenty-first century who wakes from a cryogenically induced sleep into this strange world. This is the compelling story told by Carme Torras in this prize-winning science fiction novel. 

Carme Torras, a prominent roboticist, weaves provocative ethical issues into her story. What kind of robots do we want when robot companions become as common as personal computers are now? Is it the responsibility of researchers to design robots that make the human mind evolve in a certain way? An appendix provides readers with a list of ethics questions raised by the book.

The novel has been published together with some ancillary materials to teach a course on Ethics in Social Robotics and AI.
Please see additional information here.

We invite PhD students as well as post-doctoral candidates with the relevant research background to apply for this spring school. Exceptional students pursuing relevant Masters degrees are also very welcome to apply. Submissions will be considered through following criteria:

    • Relevance of the research field.
    • Impact of the school in the researcher's career.

All applications should be submitted as a single Portable Document Format (PDF) file using the following guidelines. Submissions will be evaluated on quality as well as relevance to the workshop's theme.

Applicants are encouraged to join the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) as student members before applying for the school.

All applications should be submitted using the following EasyChair web link: Application Submission.

Participation fees for the event is 1300 USD. This includes registration, accommodation, meals as well as coffee or snacks. The facilities of the venue are shown in the images below. We would like to thank our funders that enabled us to keep this amount to an affordable level. In cases of exceptional applications requiring additional support, some scholarships would be available. The details of the money transfer as well as scholarships would be announced by Nov 21, 2018.


Guidelines for applications:

In order to be considered for the school, the applications must include following files (combined into one file). No other documents would be necessary.

  • Curriculum Vitae: A two pages or less of CV detailing relevant aspects of the candidate's academic career that demonstrates her/his relevance to the school theme.
  • Research Abstract: A 200 word research abstract that the candidate intends to present during the school.
  • Letter of recommendation: A short letter from the academic advisor or the employer of the candidate supporting her/his application.

Important Dates

Application Submission Deadline - 20 December 2018
Acceptance Notification - 28 December 2018
School Date - 17-24 March, 2019

We are pleased to invite you to submit your research to the upcoming special issue on "Humanoid robot applications in real world scenarios”, to be published in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine.


Humanoid robotics is a key challenge due to the inherent complexity of locomotion, balancing and interaction with humans or unknown environments. Striving to overcome these difficulties, companies, international competitions and research projects have highlighted the potential of bipedal technologies and demonstrated how it is now approaching the level of maturity required for autonomous operation in unstructured environments.

An increasing number of companies and research institutes are now developing middle- and large-size humanoid robots for different purposes. International projects aim to use these bipeds as human coworkers for industrial manufacturing and warehouse tasks, or tele-operated for inspection and intervention in hazardous environments. These scenarios require advanced locomotion and interaction capabilities which are being addressed, not only with classical stiff position control, but also with advanced compliant torque/force control.

This special issue on humanoid robot applications in real world scenarios will make the research community aware of the latest and upcoming trends in this field, which is becoming increasingly appealing to industrial companies, including actors that were not previously involved in robotics.


The special issue will target papers in the following research areas:
- real applications and use case scenarios of humanoid bipedal robots
- humanoid hardware design for harsh environments
- whole-body multi-contact planning and control for real world applications
- loco-manipulation strategies in dynamic environments
- agile motion generation and control of humanoid robots
- performance benchmarking for bipedal robots
- success stories of humanoid technologies

Guest Editors will select those contributions that apply humanoid robotics technology with clear practical applications.


The deadline to submit a paper for the special issue are:
15 March 2019: submission deadline
12 May 2019: first decision communicated to authors
22 June 2019: revised paper submitted/start of the second round of review
20 August 2019: final acceptance decision communicated to authors
with the final publication in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine December 2019 issue.


Detailed timeline and further information can be found at the special issue web page.

Submission guidelines can be found at information for authors web page.
We look forward your participation!


Enrico Mingo Hoffman, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy,
Nikos G. Tsagarakis, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy,
Luis Sentis, University of Texas at Austin, Austin (TX), USA,
Francesco Ferro, PAL Robotics, Barcelona, Spain,
Stéphane Caron, CNRS-UM LIRMM, Montpellier, France,

Help us collect gender data for IEEE RAS sponsored conferences! In an effort to create best practices for conference organization, we are collecting historic data on past events. 

For each conference\year you are willing to complete:

  1. Select a conference and year by putting your name in an empty space in Column A OR Column B in:
  2. Fill out a form available at
Many thanks!
RAS WIE Committee

IEEE-RAS Spring School on "Social and Artificial Intelligence for User-Friendly Robots" SoAIR2019
17-24 March 2019, Shonan Village, Japan
Application Deadline: 20 December 2018

Aim and Scope

Autonomous and intelligent systems are progressively moving into spaces, which have previously been predominantly shaped by human agency. Unlike in the past where machines obediently served their human operators, machines now increasingly act without the intervention of a human. Artificial intelligence is meeting new challenges in the world, though human-like intelligence may still be a distant goal. Robots in factories are coming out of their cages. Autonomous cars are being tested on streets with regular human-driven cars. The private household is changing with the appearance of not only robotic vacuum cleaners, but also with the first-generation of social robots and smart devices. The challenges that face both the robotics and artificial intelligence communities are how the necessary intelligence for such new environments can be created as well as how to make artificial agents capable of not only solving tasks at hand but also considering social environments around them during interaction with human users so as to behave appropriately. Within the school, we plan to address the tension created by the balance between task-specific artificial intelligence and the demands of sociability required to function effectively in human-centered environments.

** This spring school is a Technical Education Program (TEP) endorsed and supported by IEEE-RAS.

** The school aims at bridging the gap between social and cognitive Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and their applications in social robotics and Autonomous Vehicles (AV) through high level talks and hands-on workshops (the program will be announced soon).

Keynote Speakers
(More Speakers in HRI, AI, and Autonomous Vehicles will join the list soon)

Jun Tani – Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), Japan
Daniele Magazzeni – King's College London, UK
Yukie Nagai – National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Japan
Tetsuya Ogata – Waseda University, Japan
Maya Cakmak – University of Washington, USA
Mohamed Chetouani – University of Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC), France
Agnieszka Wykowska – Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Italy
Tetsunari Inamura – National Institute of Informatics (NII), Japan
Amit Kumar Pandey – SoftBank (Aldebaran) Robotics, France
Francesco Maurelli – Jacobs University, Germany (A special talk about preparing funding proposals)

Application Submission

The applications must include the following files (combined into one file). No other documents would be necessary (More information is available on the school's webpage).
1. Curriculum vitae: A two pages or less of CV detailing relevant aspects of the candidate's academic career that demonstrates her/his relevance to the school theme.
2. Research abstract: A 200 word research abstract that the candidate intends to present during the school.
3. Letter of recommendation: A short letter from the academic advisor or the employer of the candidate supporting her/his application.

Please use the following EasyChair web link:  Application Submission.

Important Dates

Application submission: 20-December 2018
Notification of acceptance: 28-December 2018
Spring School: 17-24 March 2019


Amir Aly – Ritsumeikan University – Japan
Franziska Kirstein – Blue Ocean Robotics, Denmark
Shashank Pathak – Visteon Corporation, Germany

The 13th IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE 2017), sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), was held in Xi’an, China, 20-23 August 2017. 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.

Authors of papers included in the proceedings of CASE2017 are kindly invited to submit a journal version of their contributions to this special issue, which will undergo a full review process.

The central theme of CASE 2017 and of this special issue is Automation for Next Industry Revolution. The advances in information science and technology such as Internet Plus allow us to make many industrial systems smarter and more creative particularly: Smart Manufacturing Systems, Smart Buildings, Smart Cities, Smart Transportation Systems, Smart Energy Systems, etc.

Scope, Description, and More Information

This special issue aims to publish original, significant and visionary automation papers describing scientific methods and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity, quality and flexibility for automation for the next industry revolution, with both solid theoretical development and practical importance.

This special issue only accepts submissions made by previous authors of papers included in the proceedings of CASE2017. A small number of such papers – those containing significant scientific results as recognized by CASE2017 reviewers’ comments – will be accepted to submit a journal version to this special issue. Authors are kindly requested to expand significantly the conference version to contain substantial new technical materials due to the restriction in duplicated publications and the competitive acceptance (usually more than 30% of the results are new in the journal paper).

  • Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to the following topics:
  • Future Manufacturing Systems: reconfigurable manufacturing systems, industrial robotics, coordination and scheduling, and CPS and industrial Internet
  • Foundation of Automation: discrete event systems, hybrid systems, fault analysis and recovery, system modeling and simulation, and monitoring and control
  • Life Sciences and Healthcare: lab automation, automation in treatment diagnosis and disease, hospital and medical robotics, and healthcare management systems
  • Automation in Meso, Micro, and Nano-scale: cluster tool scheduling, fab modeling and analysis, metrology, and nano-manufacturing
  • Big Data for Automation: web, data, and text mining, web services and service oriented architectures, machine learning, software engineering in automation, and workflow management systems
  • Automation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management: material handling and assembly, IT-enabled planning, coordination, and scheduling, resource allocation and management, and automation in remanufacturing and reverse logistics
  • Networked and Control Systems: distributed control systems, multiagent planning and control, sensor/actuator networks, and wireless communication and control
  • Cyber Physical Energy Systems: smart buildings, intelligent transportation systems, smart cities, and micro and smart grids

Important Dates

30 November 2018 - paper submission deadline
15 March 2019 - completion of the first review round
15 April 2019 - second round/final submission deadline
30 July 2019 - completion of the second review round, and final publication decision

Submission Information

All papers are to be submitted through the IEEE’s Manuscript Central for Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering ( Please select “Special Issue” under Manuscript Category of your submission. All manuscripts must be prepared according to the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering publication guidelines (

Prospective authors are encouraged to email to one of the guest editors abstracts of possible contributions including a cover letter with authors’ contact information.

Lead Editor

Spyros Reveliotis portrait
Spyros Reveliotis
Lead- Special Issue Automation for Next Industry Revolution
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta (GA), USA

Guest Editors


Mariagrazia Dotoli portrait
Mariagrazia Dotoli
Special Issue Automation for Next Industry Revolution
Politecnico di Bari
Bari, Italy
Qing-Shan (Samuel) Jia portrait
Qing-Shan (Samuel) Jia
Special Issue Automation for Next Industry Revolution
Tsinghua University
Beijing, China

Special Issue "Continual Unsupervised Sensorimotor Learning" invites research articles.


Although machine learning algorithms continue to improve at a rapid pace enabling technologies and products such as autonomous driving cars and sophisticated image and speech recognition, it is often forgotten that these applications represent tailored solutions to specific tasks. Thus it is not clear if or how these autonomous systems can pave the road to general purpose machines envisioned by many.
The pursuit for higher levels of autonomy and versatility in robotics is arguably lead by two main factors. Firstly, as we push robots out of the labs and productions lines, it becomes increasingly difficult to design for all possible scenarios that a particular robot might encounter. Secondly, the cost of designing, manufacturing, and maintaining such systems becomes prohibitive. 
As the algorithms for learning single tasks in restricted environments are improving, new challenges have gained relevance in order to get more autonomous artificial systems. These challenges include multi-task learning, multimodal sensorimotor learning and lifelong adaptation to injury, growth and ageing. Addressing these challenges promise higher levels of autonomy and versatility of future robots. This special issue on Continual Unsupervised Sensorimotor Learning is primarily concerned with the developmental processes involved in unsupervised sensorimotor learning in a life-long perspective, and in particular the emergence of representations of action and perception in humans and artificial agents in continual learning. These processes include action-perception cycle, active perception, continual sensory-motor learning, environmental-driven scaffolding, and intrinsic motivation.
The special issue will highlight behavioural and neural data, and cognitive and developmental approaches to research in the areas of robotics, computer science, psychology, neuroscience, etc. Contributions might focus on mathematical and computational models to improve robot performance and/or attempt to unveil the underlying mechanisms that lead to continual adaptation to changing environment or embodiment and continual learning in open-ended environments. Contributions from multiple disciplines including cognitive systems, cognitive robotics, developmental and epigenetic robotics, autonomous and evolutionary robotics, social structures, multi-agent and artificial life systems, computational neuroscience, and developmental psychology, on theoretical, computational, application-oriented, and experimental studies as well as reviews in these areas are welcome.


This special issue aims to report state-of-the-art approaches and recent advances on Continual Unsupervised Sensorimotor Learning with a cross-disciplinary perspective. Topics relevant to this special issue include but are not limited to:

  • Emergence of representations via continual interaction
  • Continual sensory-motor learning
  • Action-perception cycle
  • Active perception
  • Environmental-driven scaffolding
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Neural substrates, neural circuits and neural plasticity
  • Human and animal behaviour experiments and models
  • Reinforcement learning and deep reinforcement learning for life-long learning
  • Multisensory robot learning
  • Multimodal sensorimotor learning
  • Affordance learning
  • Prediction learning


Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Information for Authors of the journal found here:

Submissions must be done through the IEEE TCDS Manuscript center:
During the submission process, please select the category SI: Continual Unsupervised Sensorimotor Learning.


6 January 2019: Paper submission deadline
15 March 2019: Notification for authors
31 May 2019: Deadline revised papers submission
30 June 2019: Final notification for authors
31 July 2019: Deadline for camera-ready versions
September 2019: Expected publication date

More information on Continual Unsupervised Sensorimotor Learning:


Nicolás Navarro-Gerrero
Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Sao Mai Nguyen
IMT Atlantique,
Erhan Öztop
Özyeğin University,
Junpei Zhong
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST),

Conor Walsh, 2017 Early Academic Career Award in Robotics and Automation recipient, and his Harvard team are advancing soft, wearable robots with embedded sensors for hand and arm rehabilitation.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Walsh and team are developing lightweight, soft, wearable robots that people can wear all day, every day, to help them regain use of their upper extremities. Walsh wants to shift the paradigm of rehabilitation from one where the therapist manipulates the fingers and thumb through some range of motion to one where a soft robotic glove can help the patient do the work themselves.

Read more and view the National Science Foundation video here:

Easy Links