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How to Make the Most of Your Personal Virtual ICRA 2020 Experience

Dear Friends of ICRA 2020,

The current pandemic has forced us to switch to an all-online event. The huge part of an in-person conference is actually meeting friends and colleagues, and connecting with our fellow researchers of the community. We are naturally sad to let this go but we have been working very hard to make your virtual ICRA experience a most compelling one.

Given the circumstances, and the huge variety of timezones covered by our participants - 16 hours from California to Japan - it appeared that trying to stick to the original in-person schedule isn’t the best option. Considering 1600 paper presentations, plenaries, keynotes, and +70 workshops and tutorials scheduled to be held in 20 parallel tracks, we have opted for on-demand presentations and to provide efficient interaction tools for technical exchanges. We have also carefully planned our plenaries to allow for real-time interaction: every day at 1PM (UTC), the talk will be broadcast on followed by a live Q&A with the speaker.

For all interactions, please pay attention to the Code of Conduct and report violations here.

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The virtual conference uses three different web services, and you’ll need different credentials for each: slack, Papercept, and InfoVaya. If you accept cookies on your browser, hopefully you’ll have to login only once. 

  1. Slack (Community & Interaction): You should have received an invitation email directly from slack (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to join ICRA'20 workspace with “ICRA20 Virtual has invited you to join a Slack workspace” as subject. Please use the link in this message to proceed.
  2. InfoVaya (Technical Papers & Exhibits): new accounts are created daily for ICRA 2020 registrants. If you are a first-time user, set your password here. Make sure to use the same email as the registration to gain access to the ICRA20 program. If you have multiple emails,or have trouble logging in, contact InfoVaya to have them all merged for you under a single account.
  3. Papercept (Proceedings): Use your registration mail as login & password.

The Conference System Went Online on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

(IEEE Spectrum has just pushed a comprehensive piece on how all this going to work - read here)

All technical papers are presented with 5 to 10 minutes videos supplied by authors. Each paper is linked to a slack #channel for  Q&A and interacting with the authors asynchronously; just join and start the discussion, you'll be read.

Links to presentation videos and slack #channels will be available through our  online hub (InfoVaya), as well as from our proceedings on Papercept.
Beware, proceedings are still organized following the original in-person conference schedule - please ignore times and locations, every paper will remain available from 31 May to 31 August.

Please do reach out to the authors on Slack for any comment or question - the success of the online conference depends on the quality of the interactions. We give you the tools, and sincerely hope that you'll make the best out of them.

Authors will be notified to populate their Presentation pages and bios on InfoVaya Conference Hub. Please take some time before the conference for this task. You can also join your paper's slack #channel, present yourself and drop any additional information to kick start a compelling discussion of your work. You can also announce when you'll be available for a live meeting: we provide several tools in this extent, please see below.

InfoVaya is a cloud platform for academic events, used by major IEEE conferences in recent years, including the last three ICRAs. It is a robust, responsive, and secure environment designed to help attendees make the most of their time at the conference. It comes complete with a companion mobile app to cover users on the go. ICRA 2020 is using InfoVaya as its virtual venue, a central hub where attendees can convene online to browse the sessions, presentations and people’s profiles, and find information of interest.

Each presentation will be hosted on its own page containing the abstract, links to online videos and chat sessions, the full paper, authors’ profiles, on-demand videos, author-uploaded poster and/or slides, author-typed additional information, and the ICRA-Digest summary of their work. Each attendee will be given a professional page containing their contributions to the current conference as well as past events. You can also choose to share contact details, a short bio, and a resume.

There will also be a Virtual Industrial Exposition and a European Research Showcase featured on InfoVaya. Exhibitors look forward to interacting with you in their own slack #channels.

Slack provides a workspace for all interactive aspects of ICRA 2020. If you are not familiar with it, read here. Also this short video here covers the basics.  Also, a good advice to keep the discussion easy to navigate is to use threads, and to pin important messages.
Beyond textual communication, slack provides some more powerful tools. You can share documents, by uploading from your device or directly from Google Drive or Dropbox. You can initiate a video conferencing within the channel, automatically inviting all participants, using these commands:  /jitsi , /zoom , /hangout, /skype and /webex . Among these, jitsi does not require an account, is open source, securely encrypted and works fairly well; you’ll need a personal account on others to initiate a call. You can also use slack's own call tool, but it's limited to 15 users per call.
Another useful app integrated in the workspace is /loom. It lets you record quickly a screencast with voiceover and your camera. It’s a quite easy way to communicate and to answer questions, consider checking this out. You can also use it to record presentation videos. Loom videos play directly in the channel, making them a practical way to share pre-recorded presentations. Additionally,  /poll creates simple and quick polls, very useful to get feedback. Finally, /doodle is also available directly in the channel. It can help you to set up real-time encounters for a more efficient exchange.  If you need help, message directly @SlackBot.

In your slack workspace, you’ll see the  list of all participants - you are allowed to privately message others, but please respect everyone’s boundaries. A strict adherence to IEEE code of conduct is expected. Please report abuse or any issues immediatly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or dm @ICRA20 on slack.

Further Information: IEEE Code of Conduct at ICRA 2020

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