The US military has developed a Robotic contact lens that mimics the natural electric signal in the human eyeball. The robotic lens can be controlled by simply pivoting left and right as you look around or blinking twice in succession. Robotic Military Contact Lenses are available in major contact lens brands and styles exclusively to every branch of the Military including The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard.
These lenses can be controlled by eye movements. A user can zoom in and out up to 32% by double blinking, and they function even when the eyes are closed.
However, military personals and individuals need to contact optometrist and ophthalmologist to ascertain the type of robotic contact lens that is right for them. There are many types of lenses, and they are used based on prescription after an eye test have been carried out and evaluation of the person’s lifestyle. Considerations before using the lenses are eye problems and environmental factors. There are military contact lenses made specifically for people with a sensitive eye, for people with astigmatism, for those who need to wear a new pair every day. These robotic contact lenses are controlled by five electrodes which surround the eye, and they act like muscles.
A team of specialist and scientist in the University of California San Diego created a spy movie-Esque contact lens that zooms in and out when you blink. They achieved this by measuring the electrical potential of the eye, which is known as “electro-Oculography signal.” The lenses can respond to the activities of the eye. Even when the eye is closed and cannot see anything, the eyeball can still be moved, which generates the electro-oculographic signals needed to control the device. This is why the lens can work even when the eyes are closed, or the person is blind. The scientist who created the robotic lenses cited the already existing human-machine interfaces, which has improved the lives of people as an inspiration for creating the robotic lenses.
These lenses are made from Polymers and are soft robots. They can expand once the electric current is applied to them. Depending on the voltage, the lens can be changed to concave or convex, which allows it to zoom in or out just the way the focal length of a camera is changed. When a user blinks twice, it zooms in, another two blinks and it zooms out.
The robotic lens can be used to control robots and machine, to help people with disabilities or simply enhance a functional/normal eye. Interestingly the contact lenses can work whether the user can see or not because they function based on the electrical signal. A blind person can still generate signals by moving the eyeball or blinking. They are implants, i.e., they can be inserted and removed by the user on the eye and requires no surgery. They work with body chemistry and are exposed to air, dust, and other forms of environmental conditions, and they enhance vision.
One big positive of this technology is the crimes law enforcement agencies would be able to solve with it. The system has the potential to be used in Visual prostheses, smart eyewear, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotics shortly. They are the ultimate wearable and the vision for the future. They offer us super-human vision, heads-up displays, video cameras, medical sensors, and much more.
Robotic Super Vision through Contact Lens for the US Military
The US government have made orders through Innovega to get contact lenses that would enable their military to see through flying drones above, see through the eyes of drones and enable them to layer target information. The lenses can focus on 3D battlefield information’s from drones and satellites directly into the eyeball. They sit directly on the eyeball of military personal and work with a pair of lightweight glasses with a built-in translucent screen. Soldiers would be able to use the contact lenses to focus on a head-up display (HUD) that would be projected on a pair of spectacles while retaining a wide-angle vision of the entire background. This is helpful as it gives them the ability to cover a wider range of background in a firefight. They are engineered using Nano-scale techniques to work as a focusing device that combines with a pair of hi-tech glasses. They sit directly on the eyeball and can be worn while moving about. Warfighters and military personals need to maintain a full and clear vision on the battlefield. It can collect a tremendous amount of data, which includes graphics, videos, voice, and images that are required.
Alphabet Robotic Contact lens
Apart from the University of California and the US Military, Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google is aggressively pursuing the robotic contact lens technology. Their version is more of a surgical implant because it is injected into the eyeball. They do this by removing the natural lens of a human eyeball and then injecting a fluid into the eye which fuses with the eye lens capsule as it solidifies. They improve vision without glasses, and the lenses come with a battery, radio, sensors, artificial lens lives storage and other electronics. They work in a flexible and interactive way by taking over the job of focusing light onto the retina and improving vision greatly.
Google is building a Robotic contact lens that gives users the ability to see augmented and mixed reality content, take photos, videos, or both. Recently Google invented a glass that can enable users to do all this, but the idea of wearing gear on your face was slammed by many people as it creates discomforts and gives users a nerdy look. Sony technology is involved in the design of the contact lens, and you control it by blinking your eyes. The lenses are designed with sensors that can tell the difference between a voluntary and an involuntary blink. A voluntary blink can take images right from the lens fixed in your eyes, and a wink can record a video. Isn’t that amazing? I see camera technology going into extinction in the near future.
Sony driven Google contact lenses is powered by piezoelectric sensors that convert eye mobility into electrical power. It comes with a CPU, antenna, lens, storage, and an autofocus lens incorporating many small components of a digital camera.
Samsung is another firm building a Robotic style contact lens. It has a tiny display that projects video directly into the eyes of a user. It has a built-in camera which is controlled by blinking, and it takes the contents wirelessly into your smartphone for storage instead of saving on the memory of the contact lens.
Elephant Nose Fish Robotic Contact Lens Model
Another research is underway for the development of Robotic contact lens by the University of Wisconsin, Madison. They invented a contact lens that can instantly focus the eyes. This research is carried out as a future product for an Israeli company called Deep Optics. The lenses make use of electronic circuits and light sensors and are powered by a solar cell. Farsightedness affects approximately 1 billion people around the world, and the research is designed to help them. The technology would be completed around 2024
The design and idea are based on the eye function of an elephant nose fish. The elephant nose fish eyes allow it to use two types of receptors concurrently unlike other animals, which enables it to spot predators in the muddy waters. The retina of the elephant nose fish is different. It is covered with a cup-shaped depression. The cups have different layers of very large cells that are filled with guanine crystals. These form a mirrored surface that amplifies the light intensity within the cups, ensuring that the cones have enough light to work with.
At the same time, because the cups are eating up so much of the light, only a small amount reaches the cones. As a result, both sets of receptors are supplied with the right amount of light.
Robotic Lens that Sees through the Dark
The design of a Robotic style lens that enables military personnel and civilians to see in the dark is underway. Scientist at the University of Michigan is currently building a contact lens that uses thermal imaging technology. It also uses graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms to pick a full spectrum of light, including ultraviolet light. This project is partly funded by the US military, and the graphene is integrated with Silicon Microelectromechanical systems. The advantages are enormous as crimes can be detected easily in the dark with this system. Tomorrow’s soldiers would be supper powered with this Robotic Night vision contact Lens.