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In the early 1980s, robotics was entering a new era in its development following the earlier successes in industrial applications. With much energy and excitement, the pioneers of robotics launched a number of initiatives, which came to shape what became our field. In 1982, Mike Brady, Richard Paul, and their colleagues established the first journal entirely devoted to robotics, International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), which was followed by the organization in 1983, of the first International Symposium of Robotics Research (ISRR). The intent was to foster the notion of robotics as a distinct scientific field and to create a broad community of robotics. It was in the pursuit of these aims that the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR) was later formally founded in 1986. The year 1984 brought a host of other major developments in robotics with the establishment of IEEE Robotics & Automation Council (RAC), led by George Saridis, the organization of the first IEEE Conference on Robotics (John Jarvis and Richard Paul), the launching of the IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation (George Bekey), and RAC Newsletter (Wesley Snyder). The transformation of the council into our IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) was formally accomplished in 1989. In the pursuit of a broad community of robotics, the same pioneering researchers who established IFRR were also part of the effort for the creation of the RAS. Devoted to the robotics community, IFRR members have continued in the years since to serve in many capacities in the activities of both organizations, as conference chairs, transactions editors, Administrative Committee (AdCom), and Technical Committee (TC) members, Society presidents, or technical contributors.