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Researchers built an artificial eye that mimics human eye structure and functions.
A team of scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology created the ElectroChemical Eye or EC-Eye, which is almost the same shape and size as a real eye. The EC-Eye can see in a dimly lit environment just like human eyes, but it can process light changes faster.
According to one of the engineers, the artificial eye can help people with vision impairment, and it can be used to develop humanoid robots in the future.
The synthetic eye contains light-sensitive sensors that let it absorb light. It also has a lens that directs the light to specialized nanowires. These wires are connected to a computer, which processes the light into images.
This mechanism mimics how the biological iris and retina work. The iris controls the amount of light that goes through the eye, while the retina transforms light into neural signals and delivers these signals to the brain for visual perception.
The current version of the EC-Eye comes with a low resolution because it only has a few nanowires. However, the device’s developers said that they can further improve it and give it the ability to outperform human eyes.
According to researchers, increasing the number of nanowires in the EC-Eye by up to 10 times more will give it the ability to tell the difference between visible light and infrared radiation. This will allow the device’s user to see greater distances, perceive smaller objects, and even have night vision.