IEEE Robotics and Automation Society AdCom Meeting Minutes San Francisco, California Sunday, October 16, 2005


ExCom (* = voting member of AdCom)
Kazuo Tanie* (Pres), Paolo Dario* (Past-Pres), Dick Volz* (Pres-Elect), T. J. Tarn (VP Conferences), Tony Maciejewski (VP Finance), Makoto Kaneko (VP Membership), Bill Hamel (VP Publications), Roland Siegwart (VP Technical), Sukhan Lee (VP Industrial), Xiaoping Yun* (Treasurer), Kevin Lynch* (Secretary)

AdCom Ending 2005
Li-Chen Fu, Antti Koivo, Kris Kozlowski, Sang-Rok Oh

AdCom Ending 2006
Raja Chatila, Ruediger Dillmann, Paolo Fiorini, Toshio Fukuda, David Orin

AdCom Ending 2007
George Bekey, Kazuhiro Kosuge, Klas Nilsson, Bruno Siciliano, Alex Zelinsky

Chair of Student Activities Committee (voting member of AdCom)
Surya Singh

Other Attendees
Alicia Casals, Ken Goldberg, Steve Hsia, Roz Snyder, Stefano Stramigioli, Shigeki Sugano

Number of voting members constituting a quorum: 20

1. Introduction

1.1. Welcome and introduction
President Kazuo Tanie called the meeting to order at 9:10 AM.

1.2. Approval of the current agenda and past minutes
The minutes of April 23, 2005 were approved. The agenda (pdf, excel) was approved, with the amendment that the election for President-Elect would be held after lunch, leaving the statements from the candidates in the morning. This amended schedule was proposed by Toshio Fukuda, seconded, and passed 15-1.

1.3. Report on the status of the society
President-Elect Dick Volz gave a summary of items from the June 2005 IEEE TAB meeting.

1.4. RAS participation in the new Systems Council
A motion was made by President Kazuo Tanie to join the new IEEE Systems Council. There was considerable discussion about the role of this new Council and its relation to existing societies. Some expressed the opinion that it would be a good idea to join so that RAS could influence the direction of the Council. Others questioned the purpose, scope, and potential quality of the Council's conferences, as well as the sustainability of RAS's participation in the Council.

Motion: To join the IEEE Systems Council, with a modest potential financial commitment. The motion passed with 10 in favor, 5 opposed, and 4 abstaining.

1.5. Reports on business conducted outside of meetings
There was no outside business to report.

2. Constitution, Bylaws, and Nominations

2.1. RAS Secretary report
Secretary Kevin Lynch reported that the Constitution and Bylaws amendments passed by AdCom in the spring meeting had been approved by IEEE and circulated to the membership.

2.1.1. Vote on bylaws amendments
Secretary Kevin Lynch presented these Bylaws amendments recommended by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. These had been circulated by email more than 30 days in advance of the meeting. After a brief discussion, the amendments were passed unanimously.

2.2. Nominations Committee report
Past-President Paolo Dario gave this report on the Nominations Committee's work in identifying candidates for AdCom and the position of President-Elect. During the presentation, Toshio Fukuda objected to the current language in our Nominations and Awards Standing Rules that says that while nominations for President-Elect will be accepted from the floor until the time of the election, such nominations are discouraged. This may be addressed in future revisions of the Standing Rules. President-Elect Paolo Dario also noted that while both candidates for President-Elect are European (Alicia Casals and Bruno Siciliano), in RAS' Geographical Area 2, there is no implicit or explicit rule that the Presidency should rotate among RAS' three Geographical Areas. (The current Past-President is from Area 2, current President is from Area 3, and current President-Elect is from Area 1.) In fact, a third potential President-Elect candidate was solicited from Area 1 (the US), but the potential candidate declined. After some further discussion, the President-Elect nominations procedure was closed by a unanimous vote.

Each candidate gave remarks and answered some questions (for approximately 5 minutes each) while the other was out of the room, beginning with Alicia. After the candidate statements, both left the room to allow discussion among AdCom. As decided earlier, the actual vote was postponed until after lunch.

3. Internal Activities

3.1. Financial Activities

3.1.1. Treasurer report
Treasurer Xiaoping Yun began the presentation of this report.

3.1.2. Vice President for Financial Activities report
VP for Financial Activities Tony Maciejewski continued with the report begun by Xiaoping on the Financial Activities Board. This report included three conditionally accepted proposals to be discussed later in the meeting. It also included a proposal for funding for a rescue robotics camp to be held in Oct 2005 that was not recommended for funding by the Financial Activities Board. This prompted discussion on establishing guidelines on what kinds of educational activities RAS should sponsor. Two principles that were generally agreed upon were that the proposal should be received at least a year in advance of the event and that a member of RAS should be deeply involved in the project.

Tony moved that each VP of RAS be allocated up to $2500 annually to travel on society-related business in their capacity as an officer of the society, to avoid delays and increased plane fare costs that may come from the requirement of getting approval in advance for every trip.

Motion: Each VP of the society will be allocated up to $2500 annually to travel on society-related business in their capacity as an officer of the society. Motion passed unanimously.

3.3. Technical Activities
[A change was made in the schedule to move to section 3.3 of the agenda before section 3.2.]

VP for Technical Activities Roland Siegwart gave this report on the Technical Activities Board.

Break for lunch and celebration of George Bekey's 2006 TFA Award

3.2. Industrial Activities
VP for Industrial Activities Sukhan Lee presented this report on the Industrial Activities Committee. Sukhan made two motions for funding for the IAB that had been conditionally approved by AdCom in the Spring 2005 meeting. The first was to approve 20K over 2 years (2006-7) to support a standards initiative, and the second was for 21K over 2 years (2006-7) to support a robotics roadmap initiative. There was some discussion of what kinds of standards were envisioned (e.g., terminology) and how the proposed roadmap work would relate to or build on efforts in Japan, Europe, the US, etc.

Motion: $20K to be allocated to the Standards Initiative over the next two years (2006-7). Motion passed with 9 votes in favor, 6 against, and 2 abstentions.
Motion: $21K to be allocated to the Robotics Roadmap Initiative over the next two years (2006-7). Motion passed with 9 votes in favor, 6 against, and 4 abstentions.

2.2.1. President-Elect election
[According to our modified agenda, the President-Elect election was held at this point.]

Secretary Kevin Lynch distributed paper ballots to the 20 voting members of AdCom. Past-President Paolo Dario chose a two-person counting committee. The votes were collected and counted, and the results were reported to Paolo, who announced that the new President-Elect is Bruno Siciliano. AdCom congratulated Bruno and thanked both candidates for their willingness to serve.

President-Elect Dick Volz then proposed these motions thanking outgoing President Kazuo Tanie, VP of Technical Activites Roland Siegwart, and VP of Member Activities Makoto Kaneko for their service. These motions were passed by AdCom by acclamation.

3.4. Membership Activities
VP for Membership Activities Makoto Kaneko gave this report on the Membership Activities Board. It included a report on the recently concluded successful robotics summer school in Tokyo. There was a discussion on the collaboration of IEEE RAS and IFRR in organizing summer schools. IEEE RAS fully funds the program, while IEEE RAS and IFRR both contribute member time. In addition to being a wonderful learning opportunity for students, the program benefits IEEE RAS by reaching current or potential members of RAS. (It was noted that students cannot choose to join IFRR.) A motion was made and seconded to sign a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IFRR regarding sponsorship or co-sponsorship reflecting the respective societies' technical and financial contributions to the summer school.

Motion: To sign a new MoU with IFRR regarding sponsorship or co-sponsorship of the robotics summer school reflecting the respective societies' technical and financial contributions. The motion passed with 16 votes in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstention.

3.5. Publications Activities
VP for Publications Activities Bill Hamel gave this report on Publications Activities. This was followed by Robotics and Automation Magazine Editor-in-Chief Stefano Stramigioli's report on the magazine. As part of this report, Stefano made two motions, one regarding page charges and one regarding advertising.

Motion: To institute voluntary page charges of $110/page for the first 8 pages of RAM articles (resulting in reprints being sent to the author) and mandatory page charges of $250/page for every page after the eighth page. This motion passed with 15 votes in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstention.
Motion: To use the IEEE Media program from 2006 for the management of advertisements, with regular reviews to assess the effectiveness of the program. The motion passed unanimously.

VP-elect for Technical Activities Ken Goldberg gave this report on Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering on behalf of Editor-in-Chief Peter Luh. Ken mentioned that TASE will be up for review by IEEE in February 2006. TASE is generating a good number of explore hits, but he solicited suggestions for increasing the printed subscriptions.

Bill Hamel gave this report on Transactions on Robotics on behalf of Editor-in-Chief Alessandro De Luca. He also summarized discussion regarding affiliation of the electronic journal Haptics-e with RAS (in the first report of this section).

Stefano Stramigioli described a plan for the society's web presence in this detailed report. He moved that $35K be allocated in each of 2006 and 2007 to support the activities of an Electronic Product and Services Board.

Motion: To form an Electronic Product and Services Board with a budget of $35K in each of 2006 and 2007 to implement the plans in the report, with possible funding extensions for future years to be approved in 2007. The motion passed with 15 votes in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstention.

3.6. Conference Activities
VP for Conference Activities T.J. Tarn gave this report on Conference Activities and presented this list of action items. He also quickly summarized the current status of the ICRA 2006 conference with this report prepared by Nikos Papanikolopoulos. Over 1750 papers were submitted. Because of shortness of time, this report on ICRA 2007 was not presented but is entered into the minutes.

Alicia Casals then presented this report on ICRA 2005, focusing on the budget.

Shigeki Sugano then summarized the conferences that had bee approved by the Conference Activities Board for sponsorship, co-sponsorship, and technical co-sponsorship in this report.

Motion: To approve all conference sponsorship recommendations of the Conference Board. The motion passed unanimously.

3.7. President-Elect Activities
President-Elect Dick Volz proposed the adoption of these mission and vision statements for RAS in advance of our society review next year. After some discussion, the Mission Statement was modified by AdCom as reflected in the document linked to above, and repeated here:

The mission of the Robotics and Automation Society is, within its field of interest, to foster exchange of information and knowledge among researchers and practitioners, standards development, career development, education, public outreach including pre-college students, and to support IEEE in its mission.

After this discussion, Dick moved to accept the mission statement.

Motion: To adopt the mission statement above as the mission statement of the society. The motion passed unanimously.This was followed by discussion of the proposed vision statement. It was decided that the vision statement should be modified and addressed again by email.

Dick then presented the various appointments he plans to make as President beginning January 1 2006.

Motion: To accept the appointments as outlined. The motion passed unanimously.This report from Dick on IEEE publishing strategies is also entered into the minutes.

4. New Business

There was no new business.

The next AdCom meeting will take place at ICRA 2006 in Orlando, FL, on Saturday May 20.

The meeting was adjourned just after 5:00 PM.

Minutes submitted by RAS Secretary Kevin Lynch.

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