(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers said they created and tested a bionic eye that can exceed the sensitivity of the human.
“In the future, we will be able to use them to improve visual prostheses and humanoid robotics,” said Zhiyun Fan, a researcher at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
The eye, as described in detail in an article published in the journal Nature today, in fact, is a three-dimensional artificial retina, which has a very dense array of extremely light-sensitive nanowires.
A team led by Fan created an alumina membrane with tiny sensors from perovskite, a photosensitive material that is used in solar cells.
Wires that simulate the visual cortex of the brain transmit visual information collected by these sensors to a computer chip for processing.
Nanowires are so sensitive that they can exceed the optical wavelength range of the human eye, allowing it to respond to wavelengths of 800 nanometers, the threshold between visual light and infrared radiation.
This means that it is possible to see things in the dark.
“A person using an artificial eye will acquire the ability of night vision,” said Fan.
Researchers also argue that the eye can respond to changes in light faster than the human eye, allowing it to adapt to changing conditions in less time.
Each square centimeter of artificial retina can accommodate about 460 million nanoscale sensors, compared to 10 million cells in the human retina. This suggests that it can surpass the visual accuracy of the human eye.
“We did not demonstrate all the potential in terms of resolution at the moment, in the end,“ the user of our artificial eye will be able to see smaller objects at a greater distance. ”
Other researchers who were not involved in the project indicated that there was still a lot of work to be done to ultimately be able to connect it to the human brain, according to Scientific American.
“I think that in 10 years we should see the practical application of these bionic eyes,” said Hongrui Jiang, an electrical engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who did not participate in the study.
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