This new technology uses the electrical signals produced by eye movements to measure to read the commands.
While some perceive the prevailing technological advancements as a boon, there are others who cannot help but take a look at the dark side of it. Taking inspiration from the same, many series have adopted the same concept and portrayed brilliantly how this progressive step could potentially be mankind's downfall. With the creation of a recent gadget, it seems like mankind is on its way to the predicted future. That being said, no one knows what the future holds and whether it is for the best or not, only time will tell. For now, we cannot help but marvel at the latest development of contact lens the researchers at the University of California San Diego made.
Combining the skilled study of robotics, the experts have created a new form of soft robots that is unlike anything you have seen. This latest study published in the Advanced Functional Materials explains how this new type of robotics is a step forward in this field which functions with the help of natural electrical signals produced by eye movements unlike the other bendable soft robots which can only be controlled manually or with the help of pre-written programs. According to a report by PEOPLE, the researchers use electrooculographic signals which are generated by the human eyes to measure the movements. This, in turn, is used to make a kind of biometric lens that would easily respond to normal eye movements such as looking side to side or up and down, and blinking.
The feature that has caught everyone's attention is the fact that using a certain way of blinking, the lens could easily change their focal length. Yes, that's right. It allows the wearer to zoom in and out as required. Did you know that the human eyeball maintains a steady electrical potential between its front and back of the eye even when it's completely closed? Irrespective of the availability of the amount of light, the electrical signals work the same as it is based on the eye movements. So, this means that it would work the same for a person with a vision and for one without. In a way, it helps a person who cannot see by creating visual prostheses.
Scientists Develop Robotic Contact Lenses That Let Users Zoom with the Blink of an Eye https://t.co/isJMzdBsMC— People (@people) July 30, 2019
Shengqiang Cai, the lead in this research explained to New Scientist how the lens works. "Even if your eye cannot see anything, many people can still move their eyeball and generate this electro-oculographic signal," Cai said. The study reads as follows: "In this study, we developed an HMI [human–machine interfaces] between human eyes and a soft biomimetic lens, which was mainly composed of electroactive polymer ﬁlms. The change of the focal length and the motion of the soft lens closely resembled those of human eyes, which were achieved by the electrical potential-induced actuation of dielectric elastomer (DE) ﬁlms."
Elaborating further, the study explains how the placement of the lens helps conduct the electrical signals, "An electroactive DE ﬁlm is composed of a soft dielectric layer sandwiched between two compliant electrodes. When an electrical potential is applied between the two electrodes, the soft layer can instantly expand its area and reduce its thickness through the action of Maxswell stresses." In addition to it reads, "The biomimetic lens built by us contained multiple separated DE ﬁlms (Figure 1), actuation of which were controlled by EOG signals. EOG signals reﬂect the change of electrical potential difference between the cornea and the ocular fundus of eyes, which is closely associated with the eye movements."
There are several diagrams present in the study which effectively demonstrate how their findings work. Interestingly, they also provide a graph that displays the signals that the lens receives with the different movements made by the eyeball. Finally, the experiment concludes, "In this study, we have developed an interface between the human eyes and a soft tunable lens. The EOG signals generated by the eye movements were used to control the movements and the change of focal length of the soft lens. The planar movements or rotations of the lens could be achieved by the actuation of different DE ﬁlms. The motions and deformation of the soft lens mimicked that of human eyes." They claim to enlarge objects as much as "32% through deformation." However, further research is required in the future regarding this.