Devendra P. Garg

Image of Devendra P. Garg

Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Professor Garg's areas of interest include modeling, simulation, and control of dynamic systems and robotics. In particular, his research deals with characterization and control of nonlinear phenomena in physical systems such as robots, automated manufacturing, and high-speed ground transportation. In the area of robotics, he is interested in the design of feedback controllers using the concepts of modern control theory. In the area of high-speed ground transportation, he has conducted research on dynamics and control of ground-based, air-cushion and magnetically levitated vehicles.

One challenging area of research which Professor Garg is currently pursuing deals with the coordination and control of two robots handling a large structural object performing a series of intricate maneuvers in a confined work space. Analytical development of path planning and collision avoidance strategies and their practical implementation are being carried out in the Robotics and Manufacturing Automation (RAMA) laboratory. Two ABB Industrial grade six-degree-of freedom revolute jointed robots are available for these experiments. Major challenges related to this research effort include the identification and design of techniques for incorporating sensory data in the control algorithm, modeling the nonlinear dynamics of the manipulators, and the development of intelligent and adaptive control schemes for the coordination of multiple arms in the presence of unknown parameters and payload variations. Another area of research that Professor Garg is actively pursuing is sensor modeling, data acquisition and management, and data fusion in the context of swarm robotics. For the experimental work in this area, the Robot Control Laboratory has a number of KheperaII robots, LADAR sensors, and vision sensors.

Appointments and Affiliations
  • Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Contact Information:
  • Office Location: 223 Hudson Hall, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5330
  • Email Address: dpgarg@duke.edu
Education:

  • Ph.D. New York University, 1969
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1960
  • B.S.E. University of Roorkee (India), 1957
  • B.S. Agra University (India), 1954

Curriculum Vitae
Research Interests:

The main emphasis of research in the Robotics and Manufacturing Automation Laboratory is on the control of multiple robots that can work together. Multiple robotic control of the two ABB industrial robotic arms was sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The sensor modeling, data acquisition, data management, and sensor fusion research was being funded by the Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation. We are currently exploring ways of using neural networks and fuzzy logic algorithms incorporated in the robot control strategies. In addition, we are emphasizing swarm intelligence and control in our research using a network of small-size mobile robots. The research is primarily inspired by the existence of very robust biological counterparts such as swarming in ants, flocking of birds, and schooling in fishes. The primary feature of these systems that has attracted researchers is that the intelligence associated with an individual agent (e.g., ant or bird) is very primitive, and it utilizes interactions at local level to arrive at very simple decisions. This behavior at local level emerges into a group behavior that appears to be very robust and complex. This observation in biological systems has led the interested scientists and engineers to investigate multiple agent cooperative controls problem using a bottom-up approach. We have developed a multiple mobile robot test bed equipped with a Cognex-5400 camera, 2 SICK LADAR sensors, and 8 KheperaII mobile robots. These mobile robots are controlled via a radio controller through a desk-top computer. We are also working on developing formation control algorithms and strategies. The next step will be to implement these algorithms on our test-bed. The control of robotic devices via the internet has become an increasingly important area of research in the last few years. We have created a web based interface for our ABB IRB 140 industrial arms that provided the user with various functionalities, such as moving the robot arms linearly to specified coordinate offsets, opening and closing the grippers, rotating the tool (gripper) about the three axes (x, y and z), accessing the F/T values, and moving the conveyor and the indexing table. The major emphasis of our research on work cell simulation is on machine tools and related hardware operating in flexible manufacturing work cells. Past problems and recent advances, and guidelines for work cell design were also looked at. Two flexible manufacturing work cell models were created, which are capable of manufacturing a certain part. The costs of each of the layouts were compared with the costs of manufacturing the part to determine the optimal layout. Our research work in sensor fusion involves development of formal approaches to capture uncertainties inherent in sensor measurements in the form of appropriate probabilistic and analytical sensor models, and use those models to fuse data from multiple sources. The uncertainties involved in sensor measurements can arise from each sensor’s limitations, change in environmental parameters, or performance of estimation/calibration algorithm (such as image processing algorithm in case of vision sensor). The research focuses on developing a unified approach to capture uncertainties arising from any possible source in the form of sensor models, and involves the use of multiple vision sensors, infra-red sensors, and sonar ranging sensors .

Specialties:

Robotics
Sensing and sensor systems
Design
Ethics in Engineering
neural networks
Manufacturing

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Certificate of Appreciation, Technology and Society Division, ASME, 1986, 1987
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Transportation Systems Center, Cambridge, MA, 1981
  • Certificate of Commendation, Acoustical Society of America, New York, 1983
  • Certificate of Recognition, NASA-Langley, 1986, 1987
  • Founder's Day Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement, NYU, 1969
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, For Lecturing in the Soviet Union, 1987-1988
  • Japan Science and Technology Agency (STA) Invited Fellowship, Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, Tsukuba Science City, Japan, October - November, 1997
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Senior Fellowship, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, October-November, 1996; April-May, 1999
  • Technical Cooperation Mission Award, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 1959
  • Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University, April, 2011
  • IIT/Roorkee Distinguished Alumnus Award, IIT/Roorkee, India, 2009
  • Certificate of Appreciation, U.S. Army Research Office Special Emphasis Program, June, 2007
  • Hind Rattan (Jewel of India) Award, NRI Welfare Society, New Delhi, India, January, 2007
  • Edwin F. Church Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, November, 2003
  • ASME Life Fellow, American Society of Mehanical Engineers, November, 2000
  • DSCD Leadership Award, November, 1998
  • Distinguished Lecturer Award, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1998-1999
  • Dedicated Service Award, American Society of Mehanical Engineers, November, 1996
  • Special Act or Service Award, National Science Foundation, November, 1994
  • Cooperative Team Effort Award, National Science Foundation, September, 1993
  • Outstanding Performance Award, National Science Foundation, September, 1993
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Department of Defense, Army Research Office, 1988, 2011
  • Certificate of Recognition, Dynamic Systems and Control Division, ASME, 1987

Courses Taught:
  • ME 344L: Control of Dynamic Systems

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • Rogers, B., Fricke, G., and Garg, D., Aggregation and Rendezvous in an Unbounded Domain Without a Shared Coordinate System, Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (Submitted, December, 2011).
    • Young, R., and Garg, D., Modeling, Simulation, and Characterization of Distributed Multi-Agent Systems, Proceedings of the 2nd International Multi-Conference on Complexity, Informatics, and Cybernetics (March, 2011), pp. 179-184 [abs].
    • Young, R. and Garg, D., Potential Function Control of Distributed Multi-agent Systems, Journal of Robotics (Submitted, March, 2011).
    • Kumar, M., and Garg, D., Aggregation of Heterogeneous Units in a Swarm of Robotic Agents, 4th International Symposium on Resilient Control Systems (Accepted, 2011).
    • Fricke, G., Rogers, B., and Garg, D., On the Stability of Swarm Consensus under Noisy Control, Proceedings of the 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference (Accepted, 2011) [abs].
Professional Society Service:
  • American Academy of Mechanics
  • The New York Academy of Sciences
  • The Society of the Sigma Xi
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers