Scientists have managed to develop an artificial eye that has qualities similar to the structure of the human eye. The robotic eye, whose tests on the computer are successful, will run on solar energy.
Scientists have developed a robotic artificial eye that mimics the structure of the human eye and is powered by solar energy. The new study, conducted by Zhiyong Fan and his team from the University of Science and Technology of Hong Kong, can be a light of hope for visually impaired people.
The artificial eye, which has a robotic structure, includes a lens to focus the light and a semi-spherical retina on the back of the eye that produces electrical impulses to be sent to the brain by light-sensitive cells. The developed artificial eye was filled with a transparent gel, called vitreous humor, of a size similar to that of an adult human eye.
Computer tests of the developed artificial eye were successful
The artificial retina is made of porous aluminum oxide filled with densely packed nanowires. These wires consist of a compound called perovskite, which is light sensitive and is widely used in solar cells. They act similarly to nerve cells in the human eye and transmit electrical signals by activating with light.
The researchers projected letter images onto the artificial lens to test the artificial eye. A computer connected to the eye successfully recognized the letters E, I and Y. The team says it can connect to an optical nerve instead of a computer to see if the device is medically safe.
Artificial eye can take its power from solar energy thanks to nanowires
The artificial eye currently needs an external power supply, but the team plans to make the device self-sufficient. “Every nanowire can act as a small solar cell. In this case, we don’t need any external power,” said Zhiyong Fan, the head of the research team. says. Another limitation is that the image resolution remains low compared to the sensors on smartphones.
On the other hand, Fan says the existing visual prosthetic devices produced have a flat structure for image perception that does not match the spherical shape of the human eye. As a result, this limits the possible field of view compared to a human eye that normally has a field of view of about 150 degrees. However, the newly developed eye promises a wider field of view with its global structure. If the team can successfully connect the artificial eye to the optic nerves, it may be the problem of people with visual impairments in the future.