Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Melbourne NOW - Bionic Eye Monash University

The bionic eye project by Monash Vision Group is featured in Melbourne Design as part of Melbourne NOW at the NGV November 22 to March 23rd 2014.

The Bionic Eye project will restore sight by transmitting wireless signals directly to an implant in the brain.

Monash Vision Group (MVG) brings together engineering, computer scientists and medical researchers from Monash University, Alfred Health and industry partners Grey Innovation and MiniFAB, with all partners dedicated to developing and manufacturing a direct to brain bionic eye ready for first patient tests by 2014.

bionic eye

The above body-worn headgear is one of the early concepts that is being developed for the external components. A digital camera embedded in the left hand arm will capture images; and as your head turns, the headgear turns with you. Cutting edge digital processors will modify the images captured by the camera and a wireless transmitter will then present the captured visual to a chip that has been implanted at the back of the brain. The chip will then directly stimulate the visual cortex of the brain with electrical signals using an array of micro-sized electrodes. The brain will learn to interpret these signals as sight.

Bionic Eye - Melbourne NOW

Melbourne NOW - Bionic Eye

Monash University Bionic Eye at Melbourne NOW.

The industrial design team lead by Professor Mark Armstrong are focused on usability and adjustability to ensure the externally worn technology is comfortable, light and extremely reliable.

The design team at MADA includes Jessica Cassar and Kieran John, both talented recent graduates. The design process at MADA has been very collaborative with a broad range of specialists interacting with the industrial designers. The device also includes a vision processor which can be hand held or stored in the pocket. This device provides power to the system as well as houses controls that modify brightness and various visual mapping options.

The camera is mounted within the compact side arm along with sophisticated electronics. The final design should be easy to use and operate and have an aesthetic that is more in line with a contemporary consumer product rather than a medical device.

The Bionic Eye in development at Monash Vision Group has significant potential to improve the quality of life for future recipients.

Melbourne NOW design exhibition at NGV.

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