You might remember Rob Spence, known online as the Eyeborg for his project to create a working bionic eye.
Spence has worked with a team of engineers to adapt an endoscope into a working in-socket video camera. It’s turned on by waving a magnet near it, at which point it will begin transmitting a wireless video signal to a handheld LCD viewer. Absolutely incredible.
Watch the video from Sky News, but be warned that it is slightly graphic. If you can’t handle someone installing and removing an artificial eye, consider this your warning.
Just astonishing that this is even possible. But really, this is more of a general achievement in miniaturization, not bionics. Endoscopic cameras with wireless transmitters are now commonplace; the enclosure and ergonomics of the device would be the hard part of this build. What’s yet to be accomplished with an artificial eye is hooking it up effectively to the visual cortex, and that is still years away from being practical — at least, for producing any kind of detail. Existing cortical microelectrode arrays just don’t have the density required, and as a result produce something only loosely definable as an image.
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