Xiaoli Zhang

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Xiaoli ZhangDr. Xiaoli Zhang’s research expertise lies in human-robot cooperation, knowledge-based robotics, intelligent control, teleoperation, and their applications in healthcare and industrial fields.

She has published more than 40 high quality articles in peer-reviewed journals and conferences in her research areas. She has multiple patents on her surgical robots.

Dr. Zhang received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2009, and M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China.


Brown Hall W310A

Labs and Research Centers

  • Intelligent Robotics and Systems Lab

Research Areas

  • Multifunction miniature robotic tool for natural orifice surgery
  • Computer aided ergonomics in the operating room
  • Advanced human-robot interaction


  • Zhang, X., Nelson, C. A., and Oleynikov, D., 2012. “Usability Assessment of Two Different Control Modes for the Master Console of a Laparoscopic Surgical Robot,” Journal of Health Engineering, 3(1), PP. 105-123.
  • Zhang, X., and Nelson, C. A., 2010, “Multiple-Criteria Kinematic Optimization for the Design of Spherical Serial Mechanism Using Genetic Algorithm,” ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 133(1), PP.011005-011015.
  • Zhang, X., and Nelson, C. A., 2010, “On the Dynamic Modeling of a Bevel-Geared Surgical Robotic Mechanism,” ASME Journal of Medical Devices, 4(4), PP. 041002-041013. Top ten most downloaded articles.
  • Zhang, X., and Nelson, C. A., 2008, “Kinematic Analysis and Optimization of a Novel Robot for Surgical Tool Manipulation,” ASME Journal of Medical Devices, 2(2), pp. 021003.1-021003.8. Top ten most downloaded articles.
  • Nelson, C. A., Zhang, X., Buettner, S., Oleynikov, D., 2009, “Tool Guidance Using a Compact Robotic Assistant,” Journal of Robotic Surgery, 3(3), pp. 171-173.
  • Nelson, C. A., Zhang, X., Shah, B. C., Goede, M. R., Oleynikov, D., 2009, “Multipurpose Surgical Robot as a Laparoscope Assistant,” Surgical Endoscopy (rank: 17/166), 24(7), pp. 152-1532.
  • Nelson, C. A., Zhang, X., Guthrie, A., 2010, “Automatic Laparoscope Tracking in Minimally Invasive Surgery using Compact Robots,” International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, 5(Suppl 1), pp. 143-144.

Recent Courses


  • Robot Mechanics: Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control
  • Dynamics