Calls for papers

With its motto of “Science for Robotics and Robotics for Science,” Science Robotics was launched to cover the most significant advances in robots and their applications. The journal addresses both theoretical advances as well as practical applications of robotics. It promotes communication of new ideas, general principles, and original developments in robotics research and field applications, bearing the quality hallmark of the Science family of journals.

From time to time we will announce special issues; calls for those issues appear below. Presubmission inquiries and expressions of interest should be sent to sciroboteditors@aaas.org. We request that all expressions of interest include article title, author list and affiliations, and abstract (<200 words). Expressions of interest for reviews and research articles should also include a brief outline.

More details on information for authors as well as current and past issues of Science Robotics can be found at http://robotics.sciencemag.org/. Our submission site is located at http://cts.sciencemag.org.

 

Smart Materials for Robotics

Extensive advances have been made in recent years in smart materials, actuators, energy harvesting, biohybrid systems and new fabrication schemes for robotics. Many of these approaches draw inspiration from nature and are supported by engineering innovations that make them practically useful. In parallel, the development of multimaterial 3D printing technologies further accelerates the adoption of new materials in robotics, allowing digital fabrication of heterogeneous structures with interesting mechanical, electrical, and optical properties. This special issue follows the first Gordon Conference on Smart Materials, Fabrication and Biohybrid Systems for Robotics, and we are looking for high-quality, original research papers in topics covered by the meeting and related to multifunctional, precise, resilient, and environmentally sustainable materials for next-generation robotics.

Key dates:

  • Deadline for expressions of interest: 10 February 2020
  • Deadline for submission of original research articles:  3 May 2020
  • Expected publication of the special issue: Summer 2020

 

Robot Grasping and Manipulation

Human hands are amazingly skilled at handling and transforming objects of many shapes and sizes. Better robotic dexterity is a major challenge that could improve applications from factories to homes. Although substantial progress has been made in picking and sorting regular objects in controlled environment, grasping and manipulation of soft, free-form objects in everyday life by robots remain difficult. There is a complex interplay among effective manipulator design, vision, perception (e.g., tactile), multi-modal scene understanding, spatial planning, as well as learning and reasoning for completing these tasks. We are looking for high-quality, original research papers in areas related to robotic learning, kinematic planning, machine vision, environmental interactions, novel manipulator designs for high-dexterity manipulation, and handling unstructured objects.

  • Deadline for expressions of interest: 17 February 2020
  • Deadline for submission of original research articles:  29 May 2020
  • Expected publication of the special issue: Summer 2020

 

Deep Learning & Robotics

Deep learning has in recent years set an exciting new trend in machine learning with many successful applications in robotics. However, there still remain many theoretical and practical challenges when used in real-world scenarios; for example, robotics data may be abundant, but labelling can be sparse and expensive. Furthermore, safe learning and explainability are essential for users to effectively understand, trust, and manage physical embodiments of robots. For this special issue, we are looking for high-quality, original research papers on deep learning that have been validated on real-world robots for real-time applications.  We are also looking for comprehensive reviews of the state of the art and short Focus articles to provide snapshots of research for a wider audience.

Read our related articles “XAI–Explainable artificial intelligence” and “From active perception to deep learning

  • Deadline for expressions of interest: 1 March 2020
  • Deadline for submission of original research and review articles:  22 June 2020
  • Expected publication of the special issue: Autumn 2020

 

Robotics in Extreme Environments

A key advantage of robots is that they can survive in extreme environments, such as outer space and deep oceans, that would be deadly for humans. Extreme heat (or cold), radiation, pressure, and distance/latency pose engineering challenges affecting robotic components from sensors to actuators and communication devices. We are looking for high-quality, original research papers that advance our understanding of how to build and operate systems that function and endure in extreme environments. We are particularly interested in validated systems with novel designs that transform our ability to operate in such extreme environments. 

  • Deadline for expressions of interest: 30 March 2020
  • Deadline for submission of original research articles:  13 July 2020
  • Expected publication of the special issue: Autumn 2020

 

Robot Swarms Across Scales

Robot swarms have been identified as one of the grand challenges of Science Robotics.  These swarms allow simpler, less expensive, modular units to be reconfigured into a team depending on the task that needs to be performed while being as effective as a larger, task-specific, monolithic robot. Adapting to changing conditions, being robust to disturbances, and developing resilience to adversarial, disruptive changes caused by large-scale failures or damage to the swarm infrastructure are some of the research challenges being tackled. For this special issue, we are looking for high-quality, original research papers on robot swarm across scales (from macro to micro), comprehensive reviews of the state of the art, and short Focus articles to provide snapshots of the most recent research in progress.

  • Deadline for expressions of interest: 1 May 2020
  • Deadline for submission of original research and review articles:  7 September 2020
  • Expected publication of the special issue: Winter 2020

 

Robotics & Neuroscience

Building robots with human-level intelligence remains the ultimate, and yet to be achieved, goal for robotics. There is much to learn about neurobiology for developing the future generation of robots and translating the latest advances in neuroscience to design principles for enhancing the computational and cognitive power of robots. Effective brain-computer interfaces for seamless human-robot interaction and developing robots that understand human social dynamics and moral norms (that can be truly integrated with our social lives, showing empathy and natural social behaviors) are some of the challenges we are facing. This special issue is focused on the interfaces between robotics and neuroscience, and we are looking for high-quality, original research papers as well as reviews and focus articles reporting the current state of the art and latest developments in this field. With our motto of “Science for Robotics and Robotics for Science,” we are particularly interested in articles on how advances in neuroscience help to develop more intelligent robots and, conversely, how robotics can be used to further our understanding of the brain and managing cognitive impairment or neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Deadline for expressions of interest: 5 June 2020
  • Deadline for submission of original research and review articles:  19 September 2020
  • Expected publication of the special issue: Winter 2020–2021