May 11, 2010

Bionic Eyes and Arms

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Previously we had looked at replacing the functionality of the bionic man from the seventies TV show.

Here we look at bionic eyes and arms.

The i-Limb Pulse is a new bionic arm that allows users to handle heavy objects or delicate items, as well as customise the grips to fit their needs.

The maker, Touch Bionics, claims this prosthetic hand can handle more than 200 pounds (90 kg), if your biceps are up to it. When grabbing an object, it can apply additional force by using a pulsing effect.


A bionic eye prototype developed by researchers in Australia aims to implant an array of electrodes in the eye that can deliver electrical impulses directly to neurons in the retina. The group, called Bionic Vision Australia, has developed a device called the wide-view neurostimulator for patients suffering from degenerative vision loss. Bionic Vision Australia uses an external camera — with resolution of up to 5 megapixels — mounted on a pair of glasses. The resultant vision is not the same as the images that a sighted person sees. Instead it’s a pixelated version with a relatively small number of dots: about 100 in early versions. But it’s a beginning, says Burkitt. Meanwhile, the team is also working on the next version of the bionic eye that will include 1,000 electrodes, delivering 10 times the resolution. It will be made of platinum, instead of the polycrystalline diamond used for the first one, so more electrodes can be packed in and better images generated.

Burkitt and his team hope to do the first human implant in 2013.


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