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Robotic contact lens zoom in by blinking eyes

Published : Wednesday, 31 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 137

Robotic contact lens zoom in by blinking eyes

Robotic contact lens zoom in by blinking eyes

Scientists have created a robotic lens that is controlled by small eye movements, including double blinks to zoom in and out.
Most soft robots are controlled manually or pre-programmed but the lenses mimic the natural electric signals in the human eyeball that are active even when the eye itself is closed.
Researchers from the University of California San Diego harnessed this natural charge to control the lens.
They measured the electrical potential of the eye - called the "electro-oculographic signal" - and then made lenses that would respond to that activity.
Lead researcher Shengqiang Cai from the university told New Scientist: "Even if your eye cannot see anything, many people can still move their eyeball and generate this electro-oculographic signal."
The lens is made from polymers that expand when electric current is applied.
It is controlled using five electrodes surrounding the eye which act like muscles. When the polymer becomes more convex the lens effectively zooms in.
Scientists hope one day this could help create a prosthetic eye or a camera that can be controlled using eyes alone.
"The system developed in the current study has the potential to be used in visual prostheses, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotics in the future," researchers wrote in the paper published in Advanced Functional Materials.
Speaking to New Scientist , Dr Shenggiang Cai, who led the study, explained: "Even if your eye cannot see anything, many people can still move their eyeball and generate this electro-oculographic signal."
The contact lens is made from polymers that expand when an electric current is applied.
This current is provided by five electrodes surrounding the eye, which act like muscles.
When the polymer becomes more convex, the lens zooms in, meaning in the future users could zoom in on object simply by blinking at them. This could open the door to a range of exciting uses, ranging from prosthetic eyes, to eye-controlled cameras.
Sadly it remains unclear when the contact lenses will be ready to buy, or how much they're likely to cost.
In their study, published in Advanced Functional Materials , the researchers added: "The system developed in the current study has the potential to be used in visual prostheses, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotics in the future."         -INDEPENDENT








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