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IEEE International Symposium on Robotic and Sensors Environments (ROSE 2011) was held on September 17-18, 2011, at Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, in Montreal, QC, Canada. ROSE 2011 was the first opportunity for the conference series to be conducted as an IEEE Symposium, following a sustained and successful number of ROSE Workshop venues from 2003 to 2010, that took place in Europe, Canada, and the USA. Following the tradition established in 2003, the ROSE Symposium addresses all aspects of sensing systems and technologies for robotics and industrial automation, as well as their impact on autonomous robotic and intelligent systems development and applications. At ROSE 2011, 41 papers presenting contributions of high quality were presented, addressing the diversity of problems and applications that combine sensors, decision systems, and robots. Following the symposium, a number of substantially extended manuscripts, inspired by papers presented at ROSE 2011, and addressing topics of particular relevance for the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, were submitted and went through a rigorous peer review process, identical to that of regular paper submissions. Following this process, three manuscripts were accepted and are included in this Special Section.