UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Human Machine Interaction

Our work focuses in three areas: brain-computer interfaces (hardware and software), haptics, and adaptive shared control systems that assist when needed. We also research user intention prediction and advanced human machine interaction.

Brain computer interfaces (BCI)

A high-fidelity minimally invasive brain computer interface

This project by Elliott Magee was to design and test a BCI realistically usable for long-term human applications. It needed to have minimal infection risks and minimal invasiveness, yet a signal quality comparable to invasive BCIs. The project involved discussion with both clinicians and patients to produce a system that would be accepted amongst the medical community.

View thesis

Using EEG to play a computer game

We use Electroencephalography (EEG) to control actions on a computer. This involves using code to translate brain signals into left and right movements on a mouse or cursor. Brain Computer Interfaces are important for rehabilitation engineering and could benefit patients who suffer from severe motor impairment, such as spinal cord injury.

Case study: Using EEG to play a computer game


Haptics uses touch to interact with virtual objects. It is commonly used for stroke rehabilitation and for training dentists and surgeons. Peter Snow has used Haptics to combat phantom limb pain (PLP), which is experienced by 50-80% of upper-limb amputees.

Case study: Haptics for amputees

Adaptive shared control systems

Shared control systems combine automation and user control in one system. Adaptive systems adjust themselves to handle varying parameters, such as distances to obstructions. This means the system can distribute control effectively between the user and automated components depending on the situation.

Case study: Adaptive shared control systems

More Aspire CREATE research

Our experts

Rui Loureiro

Prof. Rui Loureiro

Tom Carlson

Prof. Tom Carlson

Hubin Zhao

Dr Hubin Zhao

Selected publications

  1. Pacaux-Lemoine MP, Habib L, Sciacca N & Carlson T (2020). Emulated haptic shared control for brain-computer interfaces improves human-robot cooperation. IEEE International Conference on Human-Machine Systems (ICHMS), Rome.
  2. Pacaux-Lemoine M, Habib L & Carlson T (2018). Human-robot cooperation through brain-computer interaction and emulated haptic supports. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology (ICIT), pp. 1973-1978.

  3. Rastegarpanah A, Rakhodaei H, Saadat M, Loureiro, RCV, et al (2018). Path-planning of a hybrid parallel robot using stiffness and workspace for foot rehabilitation. Advances in Mechanical Engineering. January 2018.

  4. Snow PW, Sedki I, Sinisi M, Comley R & Loureiro RCV (2017). Robotic therapy for phantom limb pain in upper limb amputees. International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), pp. 1019-1024.

  1. Zervudachi A, Sanchez E & Carlson T (2016). Preliminary EEG characterisation of intention to stand and walk for exoskeleton applications. 3rd International Conference on Neurorehabilitation (ICNR2016).
  2. Wilcox M, Rathore A, Morgado Ramirez DZ, Loureiro R & Carlson T (2016). Muscular activity and physical interaction forces during lower limb exoskeleton use. Healthcare Technology Letters.
  3. Rathore A, Wilcox M, Ramirez DZM, Loureiro R & Carlson T (2016). Quantifying the human-robot interaction forces between a lower limb exoskeleton and healthy users. Conference proceedings: Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference, 2016, 586-589.

Related courses 

About Aspire CREATE

We work to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries. The Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology (Aspire CREATE) is a joint research venture between UCL, the Aspire Charity, and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.


How to reach us

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
Brockley Hill

How to get there

  • Our office: Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science. (Building 6, ref. 8D.)
  • Our main lab: Peripheral Nerve Injury unit. (Building 37, ref. 5E.)

Building map


It can be tricky to find your way around the site. We have created a photo guide to help you find our office.

Download guide