FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

(last updated Sept 12, 2020)

More Questions? Email: [email protected]



Q1. Will IROS 2020 be virtual?

A1. (07/07/20 Answer:) 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.

A1. (09/12/20 Answer:) The in-person event is cancelled. This was announced to authors and contributors via email on 09/07/20. Thanks to authors' and contributors' pre-recorded video talks, IROS On-Demand is being created. This will be an easy and intuitive interface to access IROS content anytime, anywhere, and with any device. IROS On-Demand will be released 10/25/20 with a 1-month minimum run-time.

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

A2. (07/07/20 Answer:) 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.

A2. (09/12/20 Answer:) The answer remains yes. Now that IROS has pivoted to an On-Demand format, we are updating our budgetary evaluations. The OC anticipates providing details on registration cost and related refunds no later than early October. We appreciate your patience!

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

A3. (07/07/20 Answer:) 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.

A3. (09/12/20 Answer:) Over 98-percent of paper authors have registered (thank you!). We anticipate reduced registration rates due to the cancellation of the in-person format. The balance will then be refunded no later than early October.

For the remaining 100 or so authors, registration is still important to ensure their paper is included in the Proceedings/XPlore. This is particularly important if the IROS paper exceeds the 6-page limit (and thus requires additional handling by Paper Plaza). Additionally, registration ensures your access to IROS On-Demand when it is released on 10/25/20. 09/21/20 was the registration deadline cited in our 09/07/20 email to all authors and contributors. For RA-L and TRO authors, registration is still important to ensure your content is made available on IROS On-Demand.

For authors whose institutions do not let them register (due to restricted travel, etc), please let email [email protected] with your Paper ID and page count.

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. (07/07/20 Answer:) 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.

A4. (09/12/20 Answer:) In an 09/07/20 email to authors/organizers, the in-person format has been cancelled. The IROS 2020 website echoed this cancellation on 09/12/20. Briefly, health concerns, travel restrictions, and limits on the number of people gathering, make holding an in-person IROS impossible.

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

A5. (07/07/20 Answer:) 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.

A5. (09/12/20 Answer:) Please see answer A4 above.

Q6. How do I register?

A6. (07/07/20 Answer:) Please see the Registration & Travel tab on the home page ribbon bar

A6. (09/12/20 Answer:) Answer remains the same

New Questions added 09/12/20

Q7. What is IROS On-Demand? How will I present and/or attend?

A7. Authors were asked to submit: (1) their pre-recorded video talk and copyright form; and (2) register. Completing those two things serves as their presentation and the associated paper will be published in the Proceedings/XPlore.

IROS On-Demand is a web-based platform designed to easily access IROS content anytime, anywhere with any device. Given global time zone differences, On-Demand does not use synchronous tools like Zoom or Slack. As such, authors will not be constrained to visit On-Demand at specific times. On-Demand has features like comment boxes, view counts, and like buttons for authors to gage feedback and post answers to viewer questions.

To attend, registrants will be given details in mid-October. On-Demand has features like Search, "Add to my Watchlist", and "More Talks Like This". This frees attendees to view content when is most convenient for them. No live broadcasts (except for maybe IROS Competitions) will be featured on On-Demand.

Q8. I'm not an author (or I'm not the author who registered). But I would like to attend On-Demand. What do I do?

A8. More details (such as registration and signing up) will be released in mid-October, on the IROS 2020 website.

Q9. What about Workshops and/or Tutorials (WS/T)?

A9. WS/T Organizers are working closely with the IROS Organization Committee. Their content will also be featured on On-Demand as pre-recorded content. Some WS/T Organizers will be conducting live sessions (e.g. panel discussions) but will record it and post on On-Demand. If you registered for a specific WS/T, please contact its organizer for more details. Additionally, if you registered we are re-evaluating budgets and will issue any refunds no later than early October.