RAS

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Focus is on both applied and theoretical issues in robotics and automation. Robotics is here defined to include intelligent machines and systems; whereas automation includes the use of automated methods in various applications to improve performance and productivity. The society sponsors a number of conferences, including the annual International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
Updated: 15 min 34 sec ago

IEEE - RAS Congratulates Recently Elevated Senior Members

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 14:01

 Congratulations to the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society members recently elevated to Senior Member status by the IEEE Admission and Advancement (A&A) Senior Member Review Panel.

 

To be eligible for application or nomination, candidates must:

  • be an engineer, scientist, educator, technical executive or originator in IEEE-designated fields;
  • have been in professional practice for at least ten years;
  • have shown significant performance over a period of at least five of those years.

 

In addition, candidates for Senior Member grade must supply three references from current IEEE members holding the grade of Fellow, Senior Member, or Honary Member.

 

For more information, visit https://www.ieee.org/membership/senior/ or Email senior-member@ieee.org.

Mehmet Adalier

Sacramento Valley Section

Antara Teknik

Vincenzo Calabro

Italy Section

Cybertronics & Norwegian Subsea

MD ALI

Reg 8-Countries Outside Sections

Nazarbayev University

Chan-Jin Chung

Southeastern Michigan Section

Lawrence Technological University

Vijendra Babu D

Madras Section

Aarupadai Veedu Institute of Technology

Christopher Clark

Foothill Section

Harvey Mudd College

Erik Beall

Twin Cities Section

Digilabs & Hema Imaging

Filip Cuckov

Boston Section

University of Massachusetts Boston

Stephan Biller

Eastern North Carolina Section

IBM

Wangli He

Shanghai Section

East China University of Science and Technology

Elias Bortokan

Puerto Rico & Caribbean Section

Bortokán Institute

Juan David Hernandez-Vega

Houston Section

Rice University

Andreas Kugi

Austria Section

Vienna University of Technology

Gopalakrishna Kuppa

Bangalore Section

Muyinatu Lediju Bell

Baltimore Section

Johns Hopkins University

Yen-Chen Liu

Tainan Section National

Cheng Kung University

Carlo Menon

Vancouver Section

Simon Fraser University

Stefan Mocanu

Romania Section

Polytechnic University of Bucharest

Kevin Moerman

United Kingdom and Ireland Section

National University of Ireland Galway

Fabio Morbidi

France Section

Université de Picardie Jules Verne

Jay Morreale

North Jersey Section

p-brane LLC

Alessandro Papadopoulos

Sweden Section

Mälardalen University

Kyle Reed

Columbus Section

University of South Florida

Nikolaos Vitzilaios

Columbia Section

University of South Carolina

Qining Wang

Beijing Section

Peking University

IEEE Transactions on Haptics: Call for Editor-In-Chief Applicants

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 20:27

 

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and IEEE Consumer Electronics Society (CES) seek candidates for the position of Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics (T-H), serving a five-year non-renewable term starting 1 January 2020. Prospective candidates are asked to provide (as PDF files), by 1 September 2019, a complete curriculum vitae, a brief plan for the publication’s future, and a letter of support from their institution or employer.


Submit application materials to: ras@ieee.org


Applicants should possess recognized expertise in the computer science and engineering community, and must have clear employer support.


For more information on the search process, please contact: Amy Reeder a.reeder@ieee.org

ICRA 2019 Best Paper Award Recipients Announced!

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 15:18

Congratulations on the Best Paper Award Winners from ICRA 2019 in Montreal, Canada!

 

2019 Best Conference Paper Award

Michelle A. Lee, Yuke Zhu, Krishnan Srinivasan, Parth Shah, Silvio Savarese, Li Fei-Fei, Animesh Garg, and Jeannette Bohg
"Making Sense of Vision and Touch: Self-Supervised Learning of Multimodal Representations for Contact- Rich Tasks"

 

2019 Best Student Paper Award

Justin K. Yim, Eric K. Wang, and Ronald Fearing
"Drift-free Roll and Pitch Estimation for High-acceleration Hopping"

 

2019 Best Paper Award in Automation

 

Changsheng Dai, Zhuoran Zhang, Yuchen Lu, Guanqiao Shan, Xian Wang, Qili Zhao, and Yu Sun
"Robotic Orientation Control of Deformable Cells"

 

2019 Best Paper Award in Cognitive Robotics

Keliang He, Andrew Wells, Lydia Kavraki, and Moshe Vardi
"Efficient Symbolic Reactive Synthesis for Finite-Horizon Tasks"

 

2019 Best Paper Award on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 

Louis Dankovich and Sarah Bergbreiter
"Gesture Recognition via Flexible Capacitive Touch Electrodes"

 

2019 Best Paper Award in Medical Robotics

Ali Ebrahimi, Niravkumar Patel, Changyan He, Peter Gehlbach, Marin Kobilarov, and Iulian Iordachita
"Adaptive Control of Sclera Force and Insertion Depth for Safe Robot-Assisted Retinal Surgery"

 

2019 Best Paper Award in Robot Vision

Xiaohan Fei, Alex Wong, and Stefano Soatto
"Geo-Supervised Visual Depth Prediction"

 

2019 Best Paper Award in Service Robotics

Fouad Sukkar, Graeme Best, Chanyeol Yoo, and Robert Fitch
"Multi-Robot Region-of-Interest Reconstruction with Dec-MCTS"

 

2019 Best Paper Award on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 

Nathan Bucki and Mark Wilfried Mueller
"Design and Control of a Passively Morphing Quadcopter"

 

2019 Best Paper Award on Mechanisms and Design

Carl John Salaan, Kenjiro Tadakuma, Yoshito Okada, Yusuke Sakai, Kazunori Ohno, and Satoshi Tadokoro
"Development and Experimental Validation of Aerial Vehicle with Passive Rotating Shell on Each Rotor"

 

2019 King- Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award

Elliot Wright Hawkes, Hao Jiang, David L. Christensen, Amy K. Han and  Mark R. Cutkosky 
"Grasping Without Squeezing: Design and Modeling of Shear-Activated Grippers”

 

2019 Robotics and Automation Letters Best Paper Award


Bryan Penin, Paolo Robuffo Giordano, and François Chaumette

"Vision-Based Reactive Planning for Aggressive Target Tracking While Avoiding Collisions and Occlusions"

 

2019 Robotics and Automation Magazine Best Paper Award


Christian Hubicki, Andy Abate, Patrick Clary, Siavash Rezazadeh, Mikhail Jones, Andrew Peekema, Johnathan Van Why, Ryan Domres, Albert Wu, William Martin, Hartmut Geyer and Jonathan Hurst

“Walking and Running with Passive Compliance: Lessons from Engineering: A Live Demonstration of the ATRIAS Biped”

 

2019 Best Paper Award on Multi-Robot Systems

Hai Zhu, Jelle Juhl, Laura Ferranti, and Javier Alonso-Mora
"Distributed Multi-Robot Formation Splitting and Merging in Dynamic Environments"

 

2019 Best Paper Award in Robot Manipulation

Chung Hee Kim and Jungwon Seo
"Shallow-Depth Insertion: Peg in Shallow Hole through Robotic In-Hand Manipulation"

 

Welcome New IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Chapters

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 13:01

More than 220 Local and Regional Chapters of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society are active around the world. Among other activities, local RAS chapters sponsor or cosponsor minisymposia, student competitions, and continuing education workshops. Local RAS chapters also provide valuable professional contacts, especially for engineers who may have few co-workers who are robotics or automation professionals. Congratulations and welcome to the following newly organized IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Chapters.


Region 5

USA

  • IEEE Denver Section Jt. Chapter, Information Theory/Computer/Robotics and Automation Societies

Region 8

Italy

  • Politecnico Di Milano Robotics and Automation and Industrial Electronics Joint Societies Student Branch Chapter

Turkey

  • Cankaya University, Power and Energy/Robotics and Automation/Computer/Industrial Applications/Aerospace and Electronic Systems Societies Joint Societies Student Branch Chapter
  • Eastern Mediterranean University Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter

Region 9

Ecuador

  • Universidad Politecnica Salesiana - Quito Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Ecuador Section

Region 10

India

  • Peoples Education Society University (PES University) Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Bangalore Section
  • Saveetha Engineering College - Kancheepuram Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Madras Section
  • SRM Institute of Science and Technology - Kattankulathur Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter in the Madras Section

Call For Papers-Special Issue on Deep Learning and Machine Learning in Robotics

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 18:20

Deep learning and Machine Learning have gone through a massive growth in the past several years. In many domains, such as perception, vision, image recognition, image captioning, speech recognition, machine translation, and board games, in particular, deep learning has drastically outperformed traditional methods and overtaken them to become the method of choice. Will the same happen to robotics and automation? These approaches typically require massive amounts of labeled data, i.e., big data, and massive amounts of compute. In many real robotics and automation applications data is abundant but labeling sparse and expensive. (Deep) reinforcement learning often requires significantly more iterations than are feasible on real systems. Hence collecting sufficient amounts of data is impractical at best. Therefore, a lot of work is done in purely digital or virtual environments. In this special issue we will focus on approaches that have been validated on real world robots, scenarios, and automation problems. While a lot of progress has been achieved on this front in robotic and automation applications, still a lot of progress needs to be made in order to render deep learning approaches directly applicable. Robots and automation systems are interacting with the real world. Hence mistakes that might be costly in terms of lost revenue in approaches that operate in a purely digital world, can cause significant damage and loss of human lives. Therefore, safe learning becomes paramount. A related issue is interpretable learning, i.e. the capability to interpret learning processes, moving towards approaches where humans have the option to be in control and understand with sufficient human-readable details the decision processes of the machine. Successful applications in ‘neighboring’ fields characterized by limited amounts of sparse, labeled data coming from physical systems will also be considered.

Papers should follow the standard RAM guidelines. A full peer-review process will be utilized to select papers for the special issue. Submissions should be made through the RAM submission website by 1 August 2019.

Contributions are expected to present original research on deep learning and machine learning with real world applications in robotics and automation.

 

*Topics of Interest*

--- deep/machine learning

        -- supervised

        -- unsupervised

        -- reinforcement

--- sample efficient learning

        -- new methods

        -- use of models

        -- simulation to real transfer

        -- data augmentation

        -- embedding prior knowledge

        -- …

--- safe learning

        -- confidence estimates

        -- guarantees

        -- verification

        -- interpretable learning

        -- …

--- real applications and use case scenarios of deep/machine learning

        -- robotics

              - perception

              - control

              - planning

              - navigation

              - manipulation and grasping

              - …

        - automation

              - maintenance and inspection

              - production

              - quality management and assurance

              - product tracking

              - …

        -- success stories of deep/machine learning technologies in robotics and automation

        -- common issues and solutions in deep/machine learning applications in robotics and automation and neighboring fields such as:

              - gravitational waves detection

              - geophysics

              - high energy physics

              - …

*Tentative Schedule/Important Dates*

1 August 2019 - Submission deadline

1 November 2019 - First decision communicated to authors

15 December 2019 - Revised paper submitted

20 February 2020 - Final acceptance decision communicated to authors

10 March 2020 - Final manuscripts uploaded by authors

10 June 2020 - Special issue

 

*Guest Editors*

 

Fabio Bonsignorio

The BioRobotics Institute, SSSA and Heron Robots

Italy

RAS Geographic Region 2

fabio.bonsignorio@gmail.com

 

David Hsu

National University of Singapore

Singapore

RAS Geographic Region 3

dyhsu@comp.nus.edu.sg

 

Matthew Johnson-Roberson

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

RAS Geographic Region 1

mattjr@umich.edu

 

Jens Kober

TU Delft

Delft, Netherlands

RAS Geographic Region 2

J.Kober@tudelft.nl

CASE 2019: Final Paper Submission due June 15th!

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 15:52

IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) is the flagship automation conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and constitutes the primary forum for cross-industry and multidisciplinary research in automation. Its goal is to provide a broad coverage and dissemination of foundational research in automation among researchers, academics, and practitioners. IEEE CASE 2019 will be held in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on 22-26 August 2019. The theme of the conference is Smart Automation.

CALL for Papers and Workshop Proposals

IEEE CASE 2019 invites special session proposals, workshop proposals, regular papers, work-in-progress and industry papers related to the topics of the conference, which include but are not limited to:

  • Adaptive automation systems
  • Agent-based collaborative automation systems
  • Automated fault detection, diagnostics, and prognostics
  • Automation in life science
  • Autonomous systems
  • Big data, data mining, and machine learning
  • Cloud-based automation
  • Cognitive Automation
  • Cyber physical production systems and industry 4.0
  • Cybersecurity in automation systems
  • Human-in-the-loop, human-machine interactions, human-robot / robot-robot collaboration
  • Micro- and nano-scale automation technologies and applications
  • Modeling, simulation, and optimization of automation systems
  • Networked control systems
  • Power and energy system automation
  • Sensor-fusion for intelligent automation systems
  • Smart factories, smart logistics and supply chains
  • Smart products with embedded intelligence
  • Smart automation in construction and manufacturing
  • Smart home/building automation
  • Smart and connected healthcare automation
  • Standardization in smart manufacturing/home/building/healthcare etc.
  • Sustainability and green automation
Submission

Submission Web Site: https://ras.papercept.net/conferences/scripts/start.pl

Important Dates

15 February 2019: RA-L paper submission deadline (Extended: 15 March 2019)
15 February 2019: Special session proposal submission due
1 March 2019: Regular & special session paper submission due
1 April 2019: Workshop proposal, industry paper & poster submission due
15 May 2019: Paper acceptance notification
15 June 2019: Final paper submission due
15 June 2019: Author registration due
22-26 August 2019: Conference

Important Travel Information

Important for all conference attendees who are not Canadian/U.S. citizens- We encourage CASE 2019 attendees from countries that require a visa to apply as early as possible. Visa processing times vary by country.Please consult this website. 

  Visa Information ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa. Read about the changes and how they may affect you. If you are a dual Canadian citizen used to travelling to or transiting through Canada by air with a non-Canadian passport, you are no longer able to do so as of November 10, 2016. You will need a valid Canadian passport to board your flight.

 

Letters of Invitation for Organization Approval Purposes

As long as an author submits a paper to IEEE CASE 2019, a letter of invitation can be issued (if needed) to all the co-authors for organization approval purposes, but such a letter cannot be used for visa application.

 

Official Letters of Invitation for Visa Purposes

Official letters of invitation for visa applications are available to REGISTERED and PAID participants only. These letters do not and cannot commit the Organizing Committee to any financial obligation.

Contact

General Chair:
Weiming Shen, National Research Council Canada
+1 (519) 266-4862
wshen@ieee.org

Program Chair:
Jingshan Li, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA
+1 (608) 890-3780
jingshan.li@wisc.edu

For more information see: http://case2019.hust.edu.cn/index.htm

ICRA 2019 INDUSTRY FORUM: Call for Contributions

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 17:33

Opportunity for increased participation from industrial representatives and scientific programs targeting industrial attendees
ICRA 2019 Industry Forum, Monday, 20 May 2019 in Montreal, Canada

We ask you to submit your work to gain better visibility to potentially high-impact, innovative research and development projects that demonstrate substantial engineering quality, but may not qualify for acceptance based solely on their scientific novelty due to the research-centric nature of typical ICRA sessions. This Industry Forum publication can expand your work’s influence and prominence in the robotic field. This session is an opportunity to share translational research best practices.

Form of Contribution

2-4 page extended abstracts (IEEE standard double-column format) submitted to haidegger@ieee.org in pdf.

Evaluation

Peer review by a panel selected by IEEE RAS Industrial Activities Board

Presentation

Upon acceptance, authors may choose between a 10 min oral or poster with 1 min teaser talk format. Presentations should have interactive parts, demonstrations, video, etc to attract/entertain a wider audience.

Publication

Accepted works will be published online, in a Forum proceedings, while selected works will be invited to get extended to a full article for submission to a Special Issue on Translational Research in Acta Polytechnica (IF: 0.9, OA at no charge) in Q4.

Submission Deadline

Submission are evaluated as they arrive, but no later than 15 May 2019.

Presentation Schedule

At the ICRA Industry Forum, Monday, 20 May 2019 (11:00-17:00)
This year is considered to be a pilot towards establishing a standing translational research track at ICRA. Please contribute!

Questions/info: Tamas Haidegger, haidegger@ieee.org

Now Available! Ethically Aligned Design, First Edition!

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 18:24

IEEE and IEEE Standards Association have just launched a groundbreaking report to take ethical implementation of autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS) worldwide from principles to practice! The First Edition of this important work "Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems" is available NOW!

The Chair of this initiative is Raja Chatila, Past President of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS). Many other RAS members served as sub group Chairs, individual contributors and subject matter experts. Thanks to their hard work and persistance, the First Edition has become a reality! CONGRATULATIONS to ALL involved!

If you are not already involved in The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, we invite you to join the open community of over 2,000 global experts focused on cutting edge ethical and values-driven issues in autonomous and intelligent systems and in moving principles to practical application. Join to receive our regular newsletter, announcements, and to get an invitation into our private EAD community.

The Mission and Results of The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems is to ensure every stakeholder involved in the design and development of autonomous and intelligent systems is educated, trained, and empowered to prioritize ethical considerations so that these technologies are advanced for the benefit of humanity.

To advance toward this goal, The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems brought together more than a thousand participants from six continents who are thought leaders from academia, industry, civil society, policy, and government in the related technical and humanistic disciplines to identify and find consensus on timely issues surrounding autonomous and intelligent systems.

By “stakeholder” we mean anyone involved in the research, design, manufacture, or messaging around intelligent and autonomous systems—including universities, organizations, governments, and corporations—all of which are making these technologies a reality for society.

Please visit the following more information about this publication, to request the First Edition, and to get involved in future work:

https://ethicsinaction.ieee.org/?utm_campaign=EAD1e&utm_medium=alias&utm_source=LI&utm_content=report

RAS Conference Organizers Workshop at ICRA 2019

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 23:05

Anyone who is involved in organizing an IEEE or RAS conference, large or small, or is thinking about organizing a conference is encouraged to attend. Get answers to your questions about the organization, requirements, logistics and finances of conferences, both large and small. Speak with the experts for advice on how to make sure your conference is executed flawlessly!

RAS will be presenting a FREE Conference Organizers Workshop during the IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA 20199). The workshop will take place on Tuesday, 21 May from 13:30-16:30 in room 522a at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montreal, Canada. 

Preliminary Agenda

1. Welcome and Opening Remarks – Torsten Kroeger
2. Conference Committee Roles and Responsibilities – Torsten Kroeger/ Karinne Ramirez Amaro
3. Getting Started (Requesting Sponsorship & Conference Application) – Helge Wurdemann
4. Conference Publications/Video Capture – Zhidong Wang
5. Managing a Technical Program – Seth Hutchinson
6. Conference Finance (Budgeting through Conference Closing) – Venkat Krovi/ Helge Wurdemann
7. Event Logistics Planning and Execution – Kelly Smith / Torsten Kroeger
8. Working with IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events – Kelly Smith

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

Registration

Please register for this FREE workshop online:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/2d9e465601774246a8826c4f0a823d3c

To register by email or ask questions, please contact:  RAS@ieee.org

Additional information here

Communication Workshops to be held at ICRA 2019!

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 22:07

New this year! In an effort to assist our Members and conference Attendees with the challenges of communicating to the non-engineering community, a series of courses will be offered at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA 2019) 20-24 May 2019 in Montreal, Canada. This collaboration with the IEEE Professional Communications Society is sure to be a valuable experience for all participants. While initially created to benefit our Students and Young Professionals, this course would benefit participants in all stages of their careers. 

All events are FREE for ICRA registrants. Please see the course descriptions below and sign up today!

Lunch and Learn Keynote
Tuesday, 21 May 2019 in room 519
12:15-13:30

“How to Talk to the Public about Science and Technology: Learning from Failure”

Starting with a few brief but notable cases of science communication failures, we will work towards some key challenges for communicating effectively with the public. Through these failures, we examine some of the assumptions about the non-expert audience implied by the Deficit Model – a prominent but outdated and problematic model of scientific communication. Specifically, we interrogate the idea that the “public” is homogenous, with similar goals, background knowledge, and purposes for learning about technology. Acknowledging this, we introduce the idea of “Framing Science,” a concept that came to prominence in a 2007 Science editorial by Chris Mooney and Matthew Nisbet. They argue that in order to communicate effectively with the public, scientists and researchers need to do more than learn techniques for “dumbing-down” or “translating" their research while maintaining accuracy: they need to find ways to make complex topics more personally relevant. Without these connections, nonexpert audiences will not be compelled to learn about and understand technical information.

Returning to these case studies, we lay out key strategies for:
(1) understanding an audience’s needs and background;
(2) finding relevant approaches to engage non-experts; and finally,
(3) deploying the right rhetorical techniques (eg. narrative, metaphor, etc.) to communicate within that framework.

We will close by demonstrating how these techniques parallel those used by science journalists, and invite the audience to our workshops, where we’ll help them craft key messages about their own work.

**Registration is NOT required for this Lunch & Learn, however seating is limited. Mark your calendars to attend this important session!

**Lunch will be available in room 519 at the start of the session.

 

Communications Workshop: 
“Theory to Action: Crafting Messages for the Public about your own Research”

Presenters: Lydia Wilkinson and Alan Chong
This 3 hour workshop follows up on the Lunch and Learn keynote with a brief review of the concepts, followed by a set of activities designed to get attendees thinking and developing a message about their own research for the public in multiple ways.

Class size will be limited to 35 registrants for each class.
Register today for ONE of the following classes (same workshop offered 4 different times) by completing the online Registration Form:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/197e3c778bd4400aab8e2004360b1fc9

Thursday, 23 May from 9:00-12:30 in room 523
Thursday, 23 May from 13:30-17:00 in room 523
Friday, 24 May from 9:00-12:30 in room 522a
Friday, 24 May from 13:30-17:00 in room 523

1. Imagining an Audience and Framing their Work: (30 minutes)
We first ask attendees to imagine the characteristics of an imagined audience, focusing on why they would want to learn about the topic at hand and what they would need to know. For this imagined audience, we ask that they develop a brief message about their research (1-2 paragraphs). With a partner, we ask them to share the message and, importantly, the rationale behind their message, and discuss the success/failure of their message. This activity will highlight the importance of crafting a message for a specific audience, and will provide attendees with strategies to analyze their audience in future communication.
2. Developing a “Pitch”: (60 minutes)
Using the feedback from the previous exercise as a starting point, we will ask attendees to reconfigure their message for an audience who might support or invest in their research. We will use the genre of the “elevator pitch” to highlight rhetorical strategies to persuade a non-expert audience. We will ask individuals to develop a short one-minute pitch, deliver that pitch within a small group, and critique that pitch for others. This activity will emphasize the value of concision and persuasion in delivering a message to non-experts, and will provide attendees with a simple tool to hone their message at home.
3. Analogy / Metaphor: (20 minutes)
Having explained the rhetorical structure, components, and function of analogy, we will ask participants to develop an analogy explaining some aspect of their work, including identifying the source and target, and grounds and tension. In small groups, they’ll share and critique their analogies and reflect on their efficacy in communicating to non-expert audiences. This activity will provide participants with an understanding of how rhetorical tools can be used to achieve certain communication goals, laying a foundation for their use in their communicative practice.
4. Employing a Journalistic Framework: (60 Minutes)
In the final activity, we will ask participants to imagine themselves as journalists writing about their own research. We explain the PINTS (Peg-Interesting-Novel-Tension-Significance) model, and ask groups of four to choose their own research (or a predetermined paper from the Robotics and Automation) field, and write a short article that satisfies PINTS requirements for a specific publication (and its implied audience and purpose). Sharing the articles will provide us with an opportunity to examine strategies to engage and inform non-expert audiences, while maintaining scientific accuracy.

At the end of this workshop, participants should have a set of communication artifacts – in varying stages of completion – that have allowed them to: (1) engage with their own research and (2) experiment with multiple techniques for communicating to non-experts. With these experiences in hand, we hope they leave with a better understanding of key issues and strategies for communicating with non-experts in multiple modes and contexts.

Course Presenters

 Lydia Wilkinson is a Lecturer in the Engineering Communication Program (ECP) in the Institute for Studies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education and Practice (ISTEP) at the University of Toronto. She coordinates communication in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she supports student success by connecting classroom learning to current engineering projects and their future workplace. She teaches communication at the graduate level through a research course in Chemical Engineering, as well as an optional seminar in career options for PhDs. Lydia’s research investigates interdisciplinary skills transfer with a specific focus on humanities integration for engineers.

 Alan Chong is an Associate Professor, Teaching in the Engineering Communication Program (ECP) in the Institute for Studies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education and Practice (ISTEP) at the University of Toronto. He coordinates communication instruction in Civil and Mineral Engineering, helping students develop their communication skills within various academic and industrial settings. He also teaches proposal and thesis writing to undergraduate and graduate students. Alan’s research interest involves developing opportunities for civic engagement among undergraduate engineering students and in Science Communication pedagogy, particularly around the development of case studies; he also serves as the IEEE Professional Communication Society’s Digital Content Curator.