Sunil Agrawal

230 S.W. Mudd, Mail Code: 4703
Tel: (212) 854-2841
Fax: (212) 854-3304
Spring '16 office hours: Thurs 2-3pm 

Dr. Agrawal obtained a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1990 with emphasis on robotics, dynamics, and control. He currently directs the Robotics and Rehabilitation Laboratory (ROAR) and Robotic Systems Engineering Laboratory (ROSE), which have an active group of PhD, MS, UG, and  post-doctoral researchers. Dr. Agrawal’s current and past research has focused on the design of intelligent machines using non-linear system theoretic principles, computational algorithms for planning and optimization,  design of novel rehabilitation machines, and training algorithms for functional rehabilitation of neural impaired adults and children.  (see:

Dr. Agrawal’s  NSF funded robotics research over the years include “Free-floating Space Robots”, “Cable-actuated robotic platforms”, “Flapping-wing micro air vehicles”, “Cable-driven leg exoskeletons”, “Robot enhanced mobility of children”. His NIH supported research includes “Gait training of stroke survivors using robotic exoskeletons (R01)”, “Early mobility training of special needs infants and toddlers (R21)”, “Wearable exoskeleton for training of arm movements for survivors of stroke (Pilot)”.

Dr. Agrawal has pioneerednovel approaches for design, trajectory planning, and optimization of under-actuated dynamic systems using the techniques of static feedback linearization, dynamic feedback linearization, and differential flatness. The fundamentals of this approach are summarized in journal papers, doctoral dissertations, and a research monograph “Differentially Flat Systems”. Dr. Agrawal’s work on robotic exoskeletons and robot-assisted mobility for children is pioneering and is well cited by the research community.

Dr. Agrawal’s research has resulted in several professional honors that include an NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship from the White House in 1994, a Bessel Prize from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2002,  a Fellow of the ASME in 2004, a Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award in 2007, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hanyang University in Korea in 2009 invited by Korea World Class University (WCU) Program, a Best Paper Award at the 35th ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference in 2011, and a Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference in Robotics and Automation in 2012.

Dr. Agrawal has supervised dissertation/theses of 20 PhD and 30 MS students who have completed their degrees. His research has resulted in close to 350 refereed journal and conference papers, 8 US patents, and 10 pending patent applications/disclosures. Currently, Dr. Agrawal serves on the executive committee of ASME Design Division and is slated to be its chair in 2014. Dr. Agrawal has served as the Chair of ASME Mechanisms Technical Committee in 2006 and Chair of ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference in 2005. He has served on editorial boards and program committees of several prominent ASME and IEEE sponsored journals and conferences focused on robotics, control, and rehabilitation engineering.

Recent Journal Publications
D. Zanotto, S. K. Agrawal, and G. Rosati. A higher-order method for dynamic optimization of linear time-invariant systems. ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, 135(2):021008, March 2013
D. Zanotto, G. Rosati, S. Spagnol, P. Stegall, and S. K. Agrawal. Effects of complementary auditory feedback in robot-assisted lower extremity motor adaptation. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, in press, 2013
Ko, C. H., Young, K. K., Huang, Y. C., and Agrawal, S. K., “Walk-Assist Robot: A Novel Approach to Gain Selection of a Braking Controller using Differential Flatness”, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 2013 (available on line).
Vashista, V., Agrawal, N., Shaharuddin, S., Reisman, D., and Agrawal, S. K., “Force Adaptation in Human Walking with Symmetrically Applied Downward Forces on the Pelvis”, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2013.
Ragonesi, D., Agrawal, S. K., Sample, W., Rahman, T., “Quantifying Anti-gravity Torques for the Design of a Powered Exoskeleton”, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2013.
Winfree, K. Pretzer-Aboff, I., Aggarwal, R., Behari, M., and Agrawal, S. K., “The Effect of Step-synchronized Vibration on Patients with Parkinson's Disease: Case Studies on Subjects with Freezing of Gait or an Implanted Deep Brain Stimulator”, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2013.
Chen, X. and Agrawal, S. K., “Assisting versus Repelling Force-Feedback for Adult Learning of Line Following Tasks”, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2013.
Lenzi, T., Carozza, M. C. and Agrawal, S. K., “Walking Assistance through Powered Exoskeletons”, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2012.
Stegall, P., Winfree, K., Zanotto, D., and Agrawal, S. K., “Rehabilitation Exoskeleton Design and the Effect of Anterior Lunge Degree-of-freedom”, to appear in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2013.
Mao, Y. and Agrawal, S. K., “Design of a Cable Driven Arm Exoskeleton (CAREX) for Neural Rehabilitation”, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2012, 922-931.
Mustafa, S. K. and Agrawal S. K., “On the Force-Closure Analysis of n-DOFCable-Driven Open Chains Based on ReciprocalScrew Theory”,  IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2012, 22-31
Agrawal, S. K., Chen, X., Ragonesi, C., and Galloway, J. C., “A Novel Haptic Guidance for Learning Steering with Application to Special Needs Children”, IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2012
Banala, S. K., Agrawal, S. K., Kim, S. H., and Scholz, J. P., “Novel Gait Adaptation and Neuro-motor Training Results Using an Active Leg Exoskeleton (ALEX)”,  ASME/IEEE Trans. on Mechatronics, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2010, 216-225.
D. Zanotto, P. Stegall, and S. K. Agrawal. ALEX III: A novel robotic platform with 12 DOFs for human gait training. In Proc. of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2013, accepted for publication
See complete list of publications here

500 W. 120th St., Mudd 220, New York, NY 10027    212-854-2966           
©2012 Columbia University