IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

Forums & Special Events

This year’s forums and special events will include:

Ph.D. Forum

Tuesday, May 26
08:30-17:50, WSCC 602
Organizers: Ayanna Howard, Jamie Paik, Hae Won Park, Xiaorui Zhu

For the first time, ICRA 2015 will host a Ph.D. Forum. The Ph.D. Forum provides an opportunity for a group of Ph.D. students to discuss and explore their research interests and career objectives with a panel of established researchers in robotics. The Ph.D. Forum will be held as a workshop on May 26, 2015, immediately before the start of the main ICRA conference. Students may apply to participate either as a workshop participant or as a speaker. Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria: clarity and completeness of submission packet, evidence of research progress (such as published papers and/or technical reports), and assessment of contribution to and benefit from participating in the Ph.D. Forum.  See the Call for Participation for more details.

Social Media Workshop

Tuesday, May 26
12:00-13:30, WSCC 620
Organizer: Sabine Hauert

Roboticists have amazing stories that the public wants to hear about, but many researchers worry that their work will be oversimplified, misrepresented or misunderstood. By engaging directly with the public, in their own words, roboticists can explain the importance of tax-funded projects, attract students and collaborators, spur innovation, facilitate technology transfer, and take part in the discussion of issues that are important to the community.

In this crash course, you will learn the tools and techniques to promote your robotics research via the main social media channels and tech news aggregators such as Twitter, Facebook, Hacker News, Reddit, YouTube and Slashdot. We will walk you through the development of past successful research promotion campaigns in robotics so you can see how to turn your research into a social media headline that is clear, concise, and tells a story that readers want to hear.

Career Fair

Tuesday, May 26
18:00-20:00, WSCC 4B
Organizers: Hadas Kress-Gazit, Maren Bennewitz, Jana Kosecka

This year, for the first time, ICRA includes a career fair. The career fair, which is targeted at the robotics industry, is an opportunity for employers to showcase their company and to conduct on site interviews with prospective employees. The career fair will take place during the Exhibitors and Sponsors reception Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Individual interviews will be conducted Wednesday, May 27, 2015 through Friday May 29, 2015.

Industry Forum

Wednesday, May 27
09:15-17:30, WSCC 604
Organizers: Aude Billard, Dana Kulic, Angelika Peer, Yuru Zhang

The industry forum brings together academic, industry and government participants to discuss topics at the intersection of academia and industry, with the aim of strengthening ties, building networks, and fostering entrepreneurship in robotics and automation. This year's edition of the industry forum will include sessions on Tech Transfer from Academia to Industry and Transitioning from Academia to Industry. The forum will feature talks by leading academic researchers who have successfully transferred their research into commercial products or spinoff companies, as well as leading industry roboticists sharing their insights on transitioning from academia to industry. Both sessions will also include a panel discussion to discuss successful paths to tech transfer and academia-industry collaboration, and the diversity of career paths in robotics, including transitions between academia and industry. The forum will also feature the award ceremony of the IEEE/IFR Invention & Entrepreneurship Award for Outstanding Achievements in Commercializing Innovative Robot and Automation Technology (IERA Award).

Shakey 50th Anniversary Celebration

Wednesday, May 27
13:50-18:00, WSCC 6B
Organizers: Nancy M. Amato, Oliver Brock, Wolfram Burgard

The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Shakey project. Conducted at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI), this project in many way paved the way for today's research in robotics and AI. Many accomplishments of this projects are still today considered seminal in our community. In 1965, there was no significant distinction between research in AI, robotics, computer vision, and machine learning. Relevant activities were conducted within a single project, by researchers collaborating very closely. Today, many believe that we need to reverse this separation to make progress towards artificial intelligent robotic systems.

Our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Shakey project will connect historical perspectives with visions about the future of robotics and AI in two keynote presentations. In an attempt to bring the robotics and AI communities closer together, the celebration will provide a forum for papers from the most recent robotics and AI flagship conferences. In addition, there will be a panel discussion to discuss the relationship between AI and robotics and how it should evolve to make progress towards the goals shared by these communities.

Government Forum

Thursday, May 28
09:15-16:10, WSCC 604
Organizers: Vijay Kumar, Daniela Rus

The government forum will consist of three sessions. In the Robotics R&D Initiatives Around the World session, policy makers from funding agencies in Asia, North America and Europe will talk about government funding priorities and government policy as it relates to robotics, and leaders in academia will outline new opportunities for engaging with government agencies to promote robotics research and development. The Technology and Public Policy session will address the role RAS members can play to influence public policy. The discussion will center around formulating policy to promote robotics research, development and education and to determine new R&D initiatives that will help government formulate better policy to ensure technology improves and enhances our lives. In the Highlights from R&D Initiatives, investigators identified by government leaders will present their work using a format of short oral presentations and interactive presentations (accompanied by spotlights).

2015 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, May 28
13:50-14:50, WSCC 6A/6B/6C
Organizer: Raja Chatila

Meet your RAS Leadership, and those involved in the newest RAS journal, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L). Calling all members of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society, and those interested in learning more about RA-L. Get your questions answered and learn how you may be able to participate as a reviewer.

Late Breaking Results Poster Session

Thursday, May 28
16:15-17:45, WSCC 4B

A new feature for ICRA this year will be a Late Breaking Results Poster Session in which researchers have an opportunity to present recent results. Posters in the Late Breaking Results Session are not peer-reviewed and do not count as publications. Indeed, this session is ideal for researchers to get feedback on their work prior to submission of their work for formal publication.

Prospective poster presenters should submit a 1-page abstract by April 15, 2015 through the PaperPlaza system. Acceptance decisions will be made as soon as possible, but no later than April 22, 2015. Final abstracts for accepted posters will be due by April 30, 2015.  See the Call for Late Breaking Results Posters for more details.

Developing Countries Forum

Friday, May 29
09:15-17:30, WSCC 604
Organizers: M. Bernardine Dias, G. Ayorkor Korsah, Chinwe Ekenna

For the first time at ICRA 2015, a special session will be specifically dedicated to highlighting robotics work in developing countries. During this special session, invited speakers will speak on current trends in robotics research and education in developing countries. An interactive display at the conference will feature information on diverse array of robotics projects in developing countries around the world, and opportunities will be provided for remote participation in these activities for interested parties who are unable to attend the conference. Work from a wide range of categories will be featured in the interactive display, including but not limited to research, education, outreach, academic work, industry work, governmental work, and NGO work. Moreover, the interactive display will be launched at the conference but will sustain beyond the conference to connect the international community interested in this topic.

Highlights from IEEE RAS Conferences

Friday, May 29
09:15-17:30, WSCC 617
Organizers: Katsu Yamane, Jodi Forlizzi, Ren C. Luo, Fan-Tien Cheng, Chao-Chieh Lan, Seungmoon Choi, Marcia O'Malley, Carlos Balaguer, Giorgio Metta

This session will allow conference attendees to get a glimpse of four conferences sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society by presenting a selection of the top papers from those meetings. The conferences featured include ARSO 2014 (9:15-10:30), CASE 2014 (11:00-12:15), HAPTICS 2014 (14:30-13:40), and HUMANOIDS 2014 (16:10-17:20). A session of about 70 minutes will be devoted to each conference during which the program and/or general chair of the last edition of that conference will provide a brief introduction to the conference and then will serve as session chair during which several of the best, representative, or most interesting papers from that edition will be presented by the authors.

FIRST Demos & Information Sessions

Friday, May 29
14:20-17:30, WSCC 4C
Organizers: Lori Hittle, Erin McCallum

Join FIRST and Washington FIRST Robotics teams for hands on demonstrations from this year's competition season! For The Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is one of the fastest growing non-profit organizations that excites youth, 6-18 about STEM. With 450,000 youth involved in FIRST across the world, come see Washington state teams demonstrate what they are learning and life skills they are developing the sport of science, technology and teamwork. Information sessions will be held for conference attendees to learn how to get involved with FIRST and to bring FIRST to their city or country. After the demonstrations, feel free to talk with these students about possibilities after school. Who knows, they might even let you try to drive a robot!

Becoming a Robot Guru: Integrating Science, Engineering, and Creativity

Saturday, May 30
08:30-17:00, WSCC 602
Organizers: Cindy L. Bethel, Aleksandra Faust, Hannah Kurniawati, Melanie Moses, and Lydia Tapia

It is the goal of this workshop 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.

Go, Girl, Go!

Saturday, May 30
09:00-15:45, WSCC 4A
Organizers: Nancy M. Amato, Lori Hittle, Erin McCallum, Lynne Parker, Shawna Thomas

This forum, co-organized by ICRA 2015 and Washington FIRST, brings together girls from 6th to 12th grades with undergraduate and graduate students, and established robotics researchers and professionals. The day will feature: (i) plenary talks by dynamic luminaries in the field, including Manuela Veloso (CMU); (ii) a Career Paths Panel in which women share their personal stories and professional highlights; (iii) an interactive speed group mentoring session in which mentors (undergraduates, graduate students, and senior robotics researchers) hold brief sessions at round tables with small groups of girls; (iv) box lunches and networking time with the students and professionals; (v) a first hand look at demos of all the FIRST leagues.

Special Screening of ROBOTS - A National Geographic Movie

Saturday, May 30
17:15-18:00, WSCC 4A

ROBOTS is a sneak peek into the future at what might be possible as scientists use innovative engineering and design to make cyber characters less "humanoid" and more just plain human. Robot "actor" RoboThespian will introduce you to CHIMP, ATLAS, PR-2, Herb the Butler, ICUB, and others as he takes you on an amazing tour of what's going on in robotics labs around the world.

Download the special screening flyer

CRA-E Engaging Undergraduates in Research Workshop

Saturday, May 30
12:00-13:30, WSCC 620
Organizers: Nancy M. Amato, Ran Libeskind-Hadas

This workshop is open to anyone interested in working with undergraduates in research. It will cover the benefits of and best practices for undergraduate research, and will include a brief tour of the CRA-E Conquer website, a resource for undergraduate researchers and faculty mentors. The workshop will also have a panel discussion and Q&A with individuals experienced in working with undergraduate researchers in robotics. Box lunches will be provided to registered attendees. The workshop is organized by the CRA Education Committee (CRA-E) with financial support provided by the NSF.