Sunil K. Agrawal


230 S.W. Mudd 
Mail Code 4703 

Tel(212) 854-2841
Fax(212) 854-3304

Sunil K. Agrawal has developed a highly visible interdisciplinary program in rehabilitation robotics involving faculty from School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and College of Physician and Surgeons at Columbia University. Neural disorders, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, limit the ability of humans to walk and perform activities of daily living. Pediatric disorders such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Down’s syndrome delay the development of children and pose many functional limitations. Old age diminishes the sensory and motor systems. Through a range of pilot and clinical studies involving human subjects, Dr. Agrawal has showed that novel training robots can help humans to relearn, restore, or improve functional movements. 

Research Interests

Rehabilitation Robotics, Dynamic, Control, Optimization, Differential Flatness

Agrawal has active collaborations with faculty in the departments of Neurology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Pediatric Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Geriatrics, and Psychiatry. A selected list of these ongoing studies are: (i) Perturbation training of the elderly using a Tethered Pelvic Assist Device (TPAD), (ii) Gait training of stroke patients with asymmetric forces, (iii) Balance training of children with cerebral palsy, (iv) Gait characterization of patients with vestibular disorders, (v) Balance Training of Parkinson patients, (vi) Novel neck braces for assistance and training of patients with head drop, (vii) Novel dynamic spine braces for patients with scoliosis. These studies are funded by grants from National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, Spinal Cord Injury Research Board, and others.

Agrawal received a BS in mechanical engineering from IIT, Kanpur (India) in 1984, a MS degree from Ohio State University in 1986, and a PhD degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, California, in 1990.   He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He is an author of 450 research articles, 3 books, and 13 patents. 


  • Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2013-
  • Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine, Columbia University, 2013-
  • Visiting Professor, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, 11/2016-5/2017
  • Visiting Professor, University of Ulster, 4/2013-12/2015
  • Visiting Professor, Hanyang University, 8/2009-7/2013
  • Visiting Professor, Technical University of Stuttgart, 6/2008-8/2008
  • Visiting Professor, Technical University of Darmstadt, 6/2003-8/2003
  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, 1996-2012


  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering


  • Machine Design Award, ASME, 2016
  • Robotics and Mechanisms Award, ASME, 2016
  • Fellow of AIMBE, 2016
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation U.S. Senior Scientist Award, Germany, 2007
  • Fellow of ASME, 2004
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, 2002
  • The Presidential Faculty Fellow Award, The White House, 1994
  • Fritz and Dolores Russ Research Award, Ohio University, 1994
  • Best All Rounder Student Gold Medal, IIT, Kanpur, 1984


  • MI Khan, V Santamaria, J Kang, BM Bradley, JP Dutkowsky, AM Gordon, SK Agrawal, “Enhancing Seated Stability Using Trunk Support Trainer (TruST)”,  IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 2 (3), 1609-1616, 2017.
  • H Zhang, SK Agrawal, “Kinematic Design of a Dynamic Brace for Measurement of Head/Neck Motion”, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 2 (3), 1428-1435, 2017.
  • D Martelli, V Vashista, S Micera, SK Agrawal, “Direction-dependent adaptation of dynamic gait stability following waist-pull perturbations”, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 24 (12), 1304-1313, 2016.
  • SK Agrawal, J Kang, X Chen, MJ Kim, Y Lee, SW Kong, H Cho, GJ Park, “Robot-Enhanced Mobility Training of Children With Cerebral Palsy: Short-Term and Long-Term Pilot Studies”, IEEE Systems Journal 10 (3), 1098-1106, 2016.
  • S Minto, D Zanotto, EM Boggs, G Rosati, SK Agrawal, “Validation of a footwear-based gait analysis system with action-related feedback”, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 24 (9), 971-980, 2016.
  • S Srivastava, PC Kao, SH Kim, P Stegall, D Zanotto, JS Higginson, SK Agrawal, JP Scholz, “Assist-as-needed robot-aided gait training improves walking function in individuals following stroke”, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 23 (6), 956-963, 2015.
  • Y Mao, SK Agrawal, “Design of a cable-driven arm exoskeleton (CAREX) for neural rehabilitation”, IEEE Transactions on Robotics 28 (4), 922-931, 2013.
  • ZA Khan, SK Agrawal, “Study of biologically inspired flapping mechanism for micro air vehicle”, AIAA journal 49 (7), 1354-1365, 2011.
  • SK Banala, SH Kim, SK Agrawal, JP Scholz, “Robot assisted gait training with active leg exoskeleton (ALEX)”, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 17 (1), 2-8, 2009.
  • K Pathak, J Franch, SK Agrawal, “Velocity and position control of a wheeled inverted pendulum by partial feedback linearization”, IEEE Transactions on robotics 21 (3), 505-513, 2005.