FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

(last updated July 7, 2020)

More Questions? Email: [email protected]



Q1. Will IROS 2020 be virtual?

A1. The IROS 2020 Organization Committee (OC) continues working towards a traditional in-person conference. We are on-schedule and on-target. As of early July 2020 health and travel concerns, limitations and uncertainties remain. The OC recognizes these. With about 4-months remaining until IROS, the OC is closely monitoring the situation including: international and US-based flight availability, quarantine orders, visa processing, university/institutional travel restrictions, and Nevada state's phased reopening progress. In late June 2020, the OC began studies on pivot plans (e.g. virtual, hybrid, etc). The OC will thus announce, no later than early September (Labor Day in the US, 7-weeks before IROS) the final format of the conference e.g. live/in-person, virtual, hybrid, etc.

Q2. Will there be refunds for Conference Registration if it goes virtual?

A2. Yes. Should IROS pivot away from an in-person format (e.g. virtual) and after budgetary evaluation, registration cost differences will be refunded. The OC anticipates providing more details no later than early September.

Q3. Do I have to pay full registration when the conference's format (e.g. virtual) remains uncertain?

A3. Yes. Following trends of other conferences, full registration (e.g. $750 for early full registration) is required. There are fixed-costs associated with any conference. Examples include: paper management; proceedings (Paper Plaza, XPlore); and registration. Negotiated costs like: hotel room blocks; food and beverage; audio-visual; signage; session room bookings; and internet providers were contracted (before Covid) and calculated into the full registration rate. If IROS pivots away from an in-person conference, and Force Majeure contract clauses can be invoked, then many of these negotiated costs can be mitigated. But since we remain hopeful for the in-person conference, the full registration rates will ensure we have the budget in-hand to meet contracted services.

Q4. I typically pay for my travel (to conferences like IROS) on my university/company/institutional account. However, my university/company/institution is not letting staff travel or charge those accounts at this time. What should I do?

A4. Many people share this travel restriction. It remains unclear if these restrictions will continue after August. If they do, these will weigh into the OC's decision on final conference format (e.g. in-person, virtual, etc) to be announced no later than early September.

Q5. I can't get a visa, what should I do?

A6. As of July 2020, many US embassies and consulates remain closed and/or have limited services including visa-processing. For those abroad, it remains unclear if they can enter the US by IROS (flight availability, geopolitical restrictions), and what is required (e.g. quarantines, medical papers). If a visa was traditionally needed to attend a conference in the US, then we suggest you apply as you normally would. Recall visa invitation letters, if needed, are for registered and paid participants.

Q6. How do I register?

A6. Please see the Registration & Travel tab on the home page ribbon bar