Research and facilities


UCL Surgical Robot Vision Research Group


da Vinci surgical robot at the Surgical Robot Vision research laboratory at UCL.

The Surgical Robot Vision Research Group works with researches and clinicians at the Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS), the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC), and the Department of Computer Science as well as UCL Robotics. Our work is focused on developing new algorithms, devices and systems for improving diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. We work on computer vision and artificial intelligence for understanding surgical images, robotics for creating better surgical tools, and augmented reality for improving surgical visualization and navigation.

  • Equipment: da Vinci surgical robot, Kuka LBR iiwa, Spectralcam, ProX 100 3D printer, etc.
  • Principal Investigator: Prof. Danail Stoyanov

UCL TouchLab

The research at the UCL TouchLab and the Immersive Virtual Environments Laboratory bridges the gap between robotics and autonomous systems and a range of real-world applications. Funded by an EPSRC capital grant, the primary research theme is robotic telemanipulation of objects at multiple scales - enabling exploration, manipulation, and assembly tasks in new worlds beyond human capabilities. From molecules to the aircraft scale, technologies for telemanipulation will find applications in many fields, including healthcare, synthetic biology, advanced manufacturing, and beyond. At one end of the spectrum, the group works on devices that allow operators to manipulate micro- and nano-scale objects as if they were holding and touching them in their hands, a technology which will be useful for a broad range of applications ranging from material science to microbiology and nanomedicine. For human-scale interactions, the team develops robotic healthcare tools, allowing medical interventions such as endoscopy, laparoscopy and ultrasound scans to be carried out remotely. On larger scales suitable for heavy industry and civil engineering, the team investigates new ways of controlling large robotic arms such as those needed for the remote inspection of difficult and hard to reach.

  • Equipment: JPK Atomic Force Microscope, custom-built micro-manipulation systems, CAVE, KUKA iiwa, 7 (and upto 21)-DoF haptic devices, VR HMDs, optical tracking systems, etc.
  • People: Prof. Mandayam A. Srinivasan, Dr. Vijay Pawar

B-made (Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange) at the Bartlett School of Architecture


Robotic CNC milling for the production of a sculpture reproduction (bust of Darwin) at B-Made.

B-made, the Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange, is a multidisciplinary centre that strives to foster the next generation of thinkers, designers, and makers. B-made invites academia, industry, and the public to engage with new and traditional tools, processes, and materials. Our aim is to stimulate work generated by merging crafts with science and technology, and make a shift towards a new learning model. B-made underlines the Bartlett's role as a national and international resource for innovation in design and manufacturing.

  • Equipment: CNC milling, 3D printing, Kuka robots, etc.
  • Technical Director: Peter Scully

3DIMPact Research Group at UCL CEGE


OC Robotics Snake-arm, ready to be fitted with optical sensors, at the UCL CEGE laboratory.

The 3DIMPact Research Group (3D imaging, photogrammetry and metrology, applied coordinate technologies) at UCL CEGE carries out a wide variety of scientific and applied research on high-quality imaging and modelling. The group focuses on the acquisition and understanding of accurate, precise and reliable measurements of a diverse range of natural and man-made objects and structures.

  • Equipment: OCRobotics Snakearm, Kuka Robots KR250 & KR500
  • Principal Investigator: Prof. Stuart Robson

Aspire CREATe Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology


Robotic exoskeleton at Aspire CREATe.

Aspire CREATe Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology is an exciting joint venture between the UCL Faculty of EngineeringUCL Faculty of Medical Sciences, the Aspire Charity, and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH). The interdisciplinary lab is physically embedded
in the RNOH on UCL's Stanmore campus, which facilitates the daily interaction between academics, clinicians, patients and other stakeholders. The centre has been established to develop translational research to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs). This rapidly growing centre investigates techniques that are applicable and transferrable between different domains in related areas of interest, including, but not limited to stroke, muscular dystrophy, amputation, the ageing population and training of specialised skills (e.g. surgical). We take an integrated
systems-based approach, combining cutting edge evidence-based medicine with state­-of-the-art rehabilitation engineering solutions. The team foresees the blurring of boundaries between assistive and rehabilitation technologies as it moves toward building biologically inspired soft robotic exoskeletons, that integrate components such as haptic feedback, functional electrical stimulation, electrophysiological signal processing and wearable environmental sensing. Fusing this suite of sensing and actuation capabilities, will enable the development of adaptive shared control algorithms that offer patients the correct level of support as their capabilities continue to evolve.

  • Equipment: robotic wheelchairs, robotic exoskeletons, tricycles, haptic devices, brain-computer interfaces, biosignal processing, neuromodulation (electrical stimulation), 3D printing (Ultimaker 2).
  • People: Dr. Rui Loureiro, Dr. Tom Carlson

Interactive Architecture Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture


Morphs 2.0 MORPHs, short for Mobile Reconfigurable Polyhedra, are adaptive octahedral structures that can roll around public spaces and respond to their environment.

At the Interactive Architecture Lab, we are interested in the behaviour and interaction of things, environments, and their inhabitants. We are engaged in a range of academic research activities and industry collaborations. At the heart of the lab is our 15-month programme Masters in Design for Performance & Interaction which gives students an opportunity to exploit the potential of new sensing, computation, networked and responsive technologies to imagine, build, and test new spaces of performance and interaction. We share our expertise with London's leading design agencies to develop interactive experiences, robotic installations, advertising campaigns, products, services, and events. Clients and collaborators have included Nike, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Arup, Buro Happold, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, onedotzero, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Prettybird, and Studio Roso.

UCL Immersive Virtual Environments Laboratory


Shadow Dexterous Hand

The Immersive Virtual Environments Laboratory is run by the Vir­tual Envir­on­ments and Com­puter Graph­ics (VECG) group. The group's research spans the range from real-time computer graphics rendering to human factors issues in virtual reality. We want to understand how to make virtual reality effective. We carry out experiments with participants, in order to examine just what makes a difference to their sense of presence in the virtual environment, and their sense of co-presence with other people. Our ultimate goal is a theory of virtual reality: to make it 'work' in a given application context and with given resources, what is the best approach to take, what is the best algorithm, interaction and rendering style to use?

  • Equipment:  NVISOR SX111, Oculus Rifts, HTC Vive, Kuka LWR 4+, Shadow Dexterous Hand, Intersense IS-900 tracker, RoboThespian, etc.
  • Head of group: Prof. Anthony Steed