Can This Bionic Lens Give You Smart Vision?
New soft contact lenses allow the user to zoom in and out of objects by controlling their refractive index with eye movements or double blinking.
Most soft robotics devices are manually controlled or preprogrammed to perform certain actions. However, researchers at the University of California have invented robotic lenses that respond to natural signals in the human eyeball..
To do this, they measured a constant electrical potential between the front and back of the eye, which remains even in complete darkness and when the eyelids are closed. Then engineers developed a device that responds to changes in the electrooculographic signal when a person looks around or blinks..
The lens is made of a special polymer that expands when an electric current is applied and is controlled by five electrodes located around the eye and acting as muscles. Therefore, when the pupils move or blink, the device reacts to incoming signals by changing the thickness, which affects the refractive index and focus..
The team hopes that one day their invention will help create an effective visual prosthesis, or an eye-only camera. The technology can also be used to develop adjustable glasses and remote-controlled robotics..
We also previously reported on the invention of contact lenses for wireless transmission of visual information..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: imgur, University of California