UCL Computer Science


UCL TouchLab

Research at the UCL TouchLab focuses on the development of novel imaging, robotic and computational methods to analyse, explore and manipulate microscale environments.

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Timelapse images showing C.elegans moving on an agarose pad captured using a light field microscope


The UCL TouchLab (room 4.04 of UCL’s Malet Place Engineering Building) is a multidisciplinary research space which supports a team of researchers and students drawn from across the engineering, physical and life sciences. Activities in the lab are primarily focused on the development of optical microscopy, computational image analysis and robotic micromanipulation and automation techniques for applications from fundamental biology to medical diagnostics.

Panoramic image of the UCL TouchLab

Principal research themes 

  • Computational optical microscopy – light field and ptychographic techniques
  • Micromanipulation and micro-robotics
  • Microscope automation
  • Computational image analysis (classical and machine learning approaches)


  • Optical microscopes (upright and inverted)
  • Atomic force microscope
  • Automated upright microscope
  • Wet sample preparation area
  • Optics, optomechanics and electronics for instrument prototyping
  • High performance computing hardware