If there is one aspect of being a robot that I’ve always enjoyed in movies and TV series, it’s their ability to be able to zoom in and focus on things that other humans can’t. It may be the stuff of science fiction, but one that is now becoming a scientific reality as a group of scientists from the University of California, San Diego, has reportedly created a new robotic soft contact lens that lets you zoom by simply blinking twice, as reported in the New Scientist.
According to the report, the eye has an electro-oculographic potential, even if you’re sleeping, which allows them to pick up signals and identifying movements of the eye. They then measured these electrical impulses and found a way to use it to change the focal length of the lens. The study claims that because of the soft materials used in the lens, relative changes in the focal length can be as large as 32 per cent. The focal length is changed by deforming the lens. In the experiment, the team used dielectric elastomer to achieve the required deformation.
Even if your eye cannot see anything, many people can still move their eyeball and generate this electro-oculographic signal.
What all this science gobbly-gook means is that one day soon we could all be able to have contact lenses which allow us to finally become the super robots we always dreamed of. And when I say we, I mean the rest of you because I can’t wear contacts because of sensitive eyes and they still haven’t come up with any solutions to that problem.
The purpose of this research though goes beyond just zooming contacts as it can have significant benefits for visual prostheses, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotics that could improve the lives of many.
Last Updated: July 31, 2019