Mahdi Tavakoli Afshari, PhD, PEng, SMIEEE

Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept

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Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept
(780) 492-8935
13-356 Donadeo Innovation Centre For Engineering
9211 116 St
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5


Area of Study / Keywords

Robotic Systems Medical Robotics Surgical Robotics Rehabilitation Robotics Assistive Robotics Collaborative Robotics Wearable Robotics Augmented Reality Technologies Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence Telerobotics Telemedicine/Telehealth for COVID-19 Biomedical Engineering Control Systems


Mahdi Tavakoli is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Biomedical Engineering Department and a Senior University of Alberta Engineering Research Chair in Healthcare Robotics. He is also Scientific Vice-Director for the Institute for Smart Augmentative and Restorative Technologies (iSMART) at the University of Alberta. He received his PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 2005. From 2006 to 2008, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR), Canada, and an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University, USA. Dr. Tavakoli’s research interests involve medical robotics, image-guided surgery, and rehabilitation robotics. Dr. Tavakoli is the lead author of Haptics for Teleoperated Surgical Robotic Systems (World Scientific, 2008) and the Specialty Chief Editor for Frontiers in Robotics and AI (Robot Design Section). He is a Senior Member of IEEE and an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Robotics Research, IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics’ Focused Section with Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, and Journal of Medical Robotics Research.


Research Interests

  • Robotics and Telerobotics
  • Haptics
  • Teleoperation Control
  • Surgical and Therapeutic Robotics
  • Image-Guided Surgery

Current Research

  • Bilateral haptic teleoperation control of systems with practical non-idealities including communication delay, control sampling, model uncertainty, robot flexibility, joint backlash and friction, etc.
  • Analysis and design of multilateral haptic tele-cooperation systems
  • Studying the human task performance in teleoperation and tele-cooperation under degraded haptic feedback (e.g., due to time delay)
  • Robot-assisted, image-guided surgery on the beating heart
  • Needle steering planning in robot-assisted prostate brachytherapy
  • In-home rehabilitation of stroke patients using haptic telepresence technology


ECE 464 - Medical Robotics and Computer-Integrated Intervention

Basic concepts of computer-integrated intervention. Surgical CAD/CAM, assist and simulation systems. Actuators and imagers. Medical robot design, control and optimization. Surgeon-robot interface technology. Haptic feedback in surgical simulation and teleoperation. Virtual fixtures. Time delay compensation in telesurgery. Cooperative manipulation control. Overview of existing systems for robot-assisted intervention and for virtual-reality surgical simulation. Prerequisite: ECE 360 or ECE 462 or E E 357 or E E 462 or consent of the Department. Credit may be obtained in only one of ECE 464 or E E 464.

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