Designing an Artificial Human Eye: EC-Eye

The eye is one of the organs with the most complex biological structure. Thanks to this structure, it provides a very wide viewing angle, as well as processing both the distance and the near in detail, and it also provides an incredible harmony according to the environment and light conditions. In addition to its neural networks, layers, millions of photoreceptors, it also has a spherical shape, making it very difficult to copy.
Despite all these difficulties, scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology continued their work in this area and developed a bionic eye with light-sensitive superconducting perovskite material. This bionic eye, which they call the “Electrochemical Eye” (EC-Eye), is about to do much more, let alone copy a human eye.
 

 
The cameras we have now can sound like a replica of vision. But for small sizes, the resolution and viewing angle do not exactly have the characteristics of the human eye, rather solutions such as microchips are used. But, as we said before, designing them on a spherical surface is not that easy. So how does EC-Eye do this?
We can say that the electrochemical eye consists of 2 parts. There is a lens on the front that functions as a human iris. It also has an aluminum shell filled with an electrically charged liquid on the same side. This liquid is a biological fluid in the form of a gel that fills the inside of the eye, which we know as “Vitreous” in the human eye structure.

 
On the back of the EC-Eye, some wires send the generated electrical activity to the computer to process. It also has a silicone eye socket to make contact. Finally, and most importantly, the sensitive nanowires that perform the detection. These nanowires are so sensitive that their response speed is faster than photoreceptors in a normal human eye. Transmission takes place by transmitting the electrical reactions that occur on the nanowires to the computer. Of course, even if it seems like a very easy process when told in this way, it is an application that pushes the limits of technology. It is even more intriguing that all these processes work with a power and feature that will leave the human eye in the background.
To see how it works, an interface was created between EC-Eye and the computer, and some letters were shown to EC-Eye through this interface. As a result of the detection, it was proven that a higher resolution image was obtained. For the next stages, it will face much more complex tests and studies will continue for its development.

It is very clear that this bionic eye needs to pass many more tests to replace the human eye, especially although it looks like a small device, the stage of connecting nanowires to a computer for processing is now a problem. When it comes to a lot of nanowires, it seems very difficult to install and use them in a practical way, so these bionic eyes may take a little longer to commercialize and be used by everyone. But for now, it gives great hope for the future.
If it comes to a point where it can do things that the human eye cannot perceive, it can be said that it has a lot of potential. What we see in science fiction movies and “These only happen in movies anyway.” It seems that recording, seeing far, night vision, viewing frequencies in other wavelengths is not that inaccessible anymore. Just as these can be done very comfortably even with phone cameras, it is not that difficult to predict that high-end technological applications including artificial intelligence can do this easily.
Artificial Intelligence has already begun to be a part of us in every field.
 
References:

Looking to the Future: Creating an Artificial Eye


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2285-x.pdf?origin=ppub
https://tr.euronews.com/2020/05/21/insanlar-ve-robotlar-icin-gelistirilen-biyonik-goz-ilk-testleri-gecti-potansiyelde-s-n-r-y

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