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P.Alekhya K.Prathima A.Pavanir

MVGR college of engineering. St.Theressa college of engineering and technology.

the future is also presented
Blindness is more feared by the
public than any other ailment. Artificial-vision researchers take
Artificial vision for the blind was inspiration from another device,
once the stuff of science fiction. the cochlear implant, which has
But now, a limited form of successfully restored hearing to
artificial vision is a reality .Now thousands of deaf people. But the
we are at the beginning of the end human vision system is far more
of blindness with this type of complicated than that of hearing.
technology. In an effort to The eye is one of the most
illuminate the perpetually dark amazing organs in the body.
world of the blind, researchers are Before we understand how
turning to technology. They are artificial vision is created, it's
investigating several electronic- important to know about the
based strategies designed to important role that the retina plays
bypass various defects or missing in how we see. Here is a simple
links along the brain's image explanation of what happens when
processing pathway and provide we look at an object:
some form of artificial sight.
• Scattered light from the
This paper is about curing object enters through the
blindness. Linking electronics cornea.
and biotechnology, the scientists • The light is projected onto
has made the commitment to the the retina.
development of technology that • The retina sends messages
will provide or restore vision for to the brain through the
the visually impaired around the optic nerve.
world. This paper describes the • The brain interprets what
development of artificial vision the object is.
system, which cures blindness to
some extent. This paper explains
the process involved in it and
explains the concepts of artificial
silicon retina, cortical implants
etc. The roadblocks that are
created are also explained clearly.
Finally the advancements made in
this system and scope of this in
SYSTEM technology.


The current path that scientists are

Figures (1,2): the anatomy of taking to create artificial vision
the eye and its path view received a jolt in 1988, when Dr.
Mark Humayun demonstrated that
The retina is complex in itself. a blind person could be made to
This thin membrane at the back of see light by stimulating the nerve
the eye is a vital part of our ability ganglia behind the retina with an
to see. Its main function is to electrical current. This test proved
receive and transmit images to the that the nerves behind the retina
brain. These are the three main still functioned even when the
types of cells in the eye that help retina had degenerated. Based on
perform this function: Rods, this information, scientists set out
Cones and Ganglion Cells. The to create a device that could
information received by the rods translate images and electrical
and cones are transmitted to the pulses that could restore vision.
nearly 1 million ganglion cells in Today, such a device is very close
the retina. These ganglion cells to be available to the millions of
interpret the messages from the people who have lost their vision
rods and cones and send the to retinal disease. In fact, there are
information on to the brain by at least two silicon microchip
way of the optic nerve. There are devices that are being developed.
a number of retinal diseases that The concept for both devices is
attack these cells, which can lead similar, with each being:
to blindness. The most notable of
these diseases are retinitis • Small enough to be
pigmentosa and age-related implanted in the eye
macular degeneration. Both of • Supplied with a
these diseases attack the retina, continuous source of
rendering the rods and cones power
inoperative, causing either loss of • Biocompatible with the
surrounding eye tissue
peripheral vision or total
blindness. However, it's been
found that neither of these retinal
diseases affects the ganglion cells
or the optic nerve. This means that
if scientists can develop artificial
cones and rods, information could
still be sent to the brain for
interpretation. This concept laid
the foundation for the invention of
meaningful images to the



The ASR contains about 3,500

microscopic solar cells that are
able to convert light into electrical
pulses, mimicking the function of
Figures (3,4) The dot above the cones and rods. To implant this
date on this penny is the full size device into the eye, surgeons
of the Artificial Silicon Retina. make three tiny incisions no larger
than the diameter of a needle in
Perhaps the most promising of the white part of the eye. Through
these two silicon devices is the these incisions, the surgeons
ARTIFICIAL SILICON introduce a miniature cutting and
RETINA (ASR). The ASR is an vacuuming device that removes
extremely tiny device. It has a the gel in the middle of the eye
diameter of just 2 mm (.078 inch) and replaces it with saline. Next, a
and is thinner than a human hair. pinpoint opening is made in the
In order for an artificial retina to retina through which they inject
work it has to be small enough so fluid to lift up a portion of the
that doctors can transplant it in the retina from the back of the eye,
eye without damaging the other which creates a small pocket in
structures within the eye. Groups the sub retinal space for the device
of researchers have found to fit in. The retina is then
that blind people can see
resealed over the ASR.
spots of light when electrical
currents stimulate cells,
following the experimental
insertion of an electrode
device near or into their
retina. Some patients even
saw crude shapes in the form
of these light spots. This
indicates that despite
damage to cells in the retina,
electronic techniques can
transmit signals to the next
step in the pathway and
provide some form of visual
sensation. Researchers are
currently developing more
sophisticated computer chips Figure 5:Here you can see
with the hope that they will where the ASR is placed
be able to transmit more
between the outer and inner processor, and the brain implants.
retinal layers. The tiny pinhole camera, mounted
on a pair of eyeglasses, captures
For any microchip to work it the scene in front of the wearer
needs power, and the amazing and sends it to a small computer
thing about the ASR is that it on the patient's belt. The processor
receives all of its needed power translates the image into a series
from the light entering the eye. of signals that the brain can
This means that with the ASR understand, and then sends the
implant in place behind the retina, information to the brain implant
it receives all of the light entering that is placed in patient’s visual
the eye. This solar energy cortex. And, if everything goes
eliminates the need for any wires, according to plan, the brain will
batteries or other secondary "see" the image.
devices to supply power. Another
microchip device that would
restore partial vision is currently
in development called the
artificial retina component chip
(ARCC), this device is quite
similar to the ASR. Both are made
of silicon and both are powered by
solar energy. The ARCC is also a
very small device measuring 2
mm square and a thickness of .02
millimeters (.00078 inch). There
are significant differences
between the devices, however.
According to researchers, the
ARCC will give blind patients the
ability to see 10 by 10 pixel
images, which is about the size of
a single letter on this page.
However, researchers have said
that they could eventually develop
a version of the chip that would
allow 250 by 250 pixel array,
which would allow those who
were once blind to read a


The main parts of this system are

miniature video camera, a signal
photodiodes on the chip. The
photodiodes mimic the retinal
cells by converting light into
electrical signals, which are then
transmitted by cells in the inner
retina via nerve pulses to the
brain. The goggles are transparent
so if the user still has some vision,
they can match that with the new
information - the device would
cover about 10° of the wearer’s
field of vision.

The patient should wear

sunglasses with a tiny pinhole
camera mounted on one lens and
an ultrasonic range finder on the
other. Both devices communicate
with a small computer carried on
his hip, which highlights the edges
between light and dark areas in
the camera image. It then tells an
adjacent computer to send
appropriate signals to an array of
small electrodes on the surface of
patient’s brain, through wires
entering his skull. The electrodes
stimulate certain brain cells,
making the person perceive the
specks of light. The shifting
patterns as scans across a scene
tells him where light areas meet
dark ones, letting him find the
black cap on the white wall, for
example. The device provides a
Figures (6,7) illustrating sort of tunnel vision, reading an
area about the size of a card 2
inches wide and 8 inches tall, held
Light enters the camera, which at arm's length.
then sends the image to a wireless
wallet-sized computer for ADVANCEMENTS IN
processing. The computer CREATING ARTIFICIAL
transmits this information to an VISION:
infrared LED screen on the
goggles. The goggles reflect an Ceramic optical detectors based
infrared image into the eye and on on the photo-ferroelectrics effect
to the retinal chip, stimulating are being developed for direct
implantation into the eyes of attracted growing government
patients with retinal dystrophies. funding and commercial interest.
In retinal dystrophies, where the Such implants zap electrical
optic nerve and retinal ganglia are signals to nerves on the back of
intact (such as Retinitis the eye, which then carry them to
Pigmentosa) direct retinal implant the brain. However, since these
of an optical detector to stimulate devices take advantage of
retinal ganglia could allow surviving parts of the eye they
patients to regain some sight. In will help only the subset of blind
such cases additional wiring to the people whose blindness is due to
brain cortex is not required, and retinal disease, by some estimates
for biologically inert detectors, about 30% of the blind. Moreover,
surgical implantation can be quite scientists don't believe any
direct. The detector currently implant could help those blind
being developed for this since birth, because their brains
application is a thin film never have learned to recognize
ferroelectric detector, which under vision.
optical illumination can generate a
local photocurrent and photo VISIBILITY:
voltage. The local electric current
generated by this miniature It has been demonstrated in some
detector excites the retinal neural studies that to a sighted person,
circuit resulting in a signal at the image resolution of some 64 by 64
optic nerve that may be translated pixels is (more than) enough to
by the cortex of the brain as get easily recognizable images.
"seeing light". Detectors based on See for instance the reference at
PbLaZrTiO3 (PLZT) and the end of this page which
BiVMnO3 (BVMO) films exhibit suggested a lower limit of around
a strong photo response in visible 625 pixels. Similarly, a study by
range overlapping eye response Angélica Pérez Fornos suggested
from 380 nm to 650 nm. The thin a minimum of 400–500 pixels for
film detector heterostructures have reading text, with less than a
been implanted into the eyes of factor two further reduction in
rabbits for biocompatibility test, case of real-time visual feedback.
and have shown no biological Thus a 1000 pixels should do for
incompatibilities. many purposes, but some 64
The bionic devices tested so far pixels (for instance arranged in an
include both those attached to the 8 by 8 matrix) or less rarely gives
back of the eye itself and those recognizable images to a sighted
implanted directly in the brain. person, so we cannot expect this
Patients with both types of to be any better in an alternative
implants describe seeing multiple display that is likely to be much
points of light and, in some cases, more crude than what Nature
crude outlines of objects. Placing normally provides us with.
electrodes in the eye has proved
easier. During the past decade,
work on these retinal implants has
The effect of image resolution is 3.Researchers caution,
further illustrated with the images however, that artificial vision
below, where a photograph of a devices are still highly
parked car has been pixelized to 4 experimental and practical
by 4, 8 by 8, 12 by 12, 16 by 16, systems are many years
away. Even after they are
32 by 32, 64 by 64 and 128 by
refined, the first wave will
128 pixels, respectively. The most likely provide only crude
images here still include shading, images, such as the outline of
while some implants may give a kitchen doorway. It does
little more than on/off signals per not function as well as the
pixel or phosphene. real eye, and does not have
crystal-clear vision (as it is
only a camera).The device is
a very limited navigational
aid, and it's a far cry from the
visual experience normal
people enjoy.

144 256 1024 4096 16384

pixels pixels pixels pixels pixels OTHER REASONS CAUSING
(12 × 1 (16 × 1 (32 × 3 (64 × 6 (128 ×
(4 × 4) (8 × 8)
2) 6) 2) 4) 128)
THIS TECHNOLOGY: The main aim of Artificial Vision
is to restore some degree of sight
1.The first and foremost thing is to the profoundly blind. Since
the cost .The miniaturization of blindness can result from defects
equipment and more powerful at many different points along the
computers have made this visual pathway, there are
artificial vision possible, but it's accordingly a wide variety of
not cheap: The operation, proposed models for an "Artificial
equipment and necessary training Eye".
cost $4,800 per patient. And also
may be much higher depending The earliest stage of visual
processing is the transudation
upon the context and severity.
of light into electrical signals
by the photoreceptors. If
2.It may not work for people this is the only process that is
blinded as children or as infants, interrupted in a blind
because the visual cortex do not individual, he or she may
develop normally. But it will work benefit from a Sub-Retinal
for the vast majority of the blind -- Prosthesis, a device that is
98 to 99 percent. designed to replace only the
photoreceptors in the retina.
However, if the Optic Nerve
itself is damaged, the only
possibility for restoring sight
is to directly stimulate the enormous amount of work
visual cortex. Cortical to be done in developing
prosthesis is designed artificial retinas. In recent
specifically for this task. years, progress is being
Although the categories made towards sensory
presented account for most of
distribution devices for the
the research in Artificial
Vision, there are a few more
blind. In the long run, there
exotic techniques being could be the possibility of
developed. One of these is brain implants. A brain
the BioHybrid Implant a implant or cortical implant
device that incorporates provides visual input from a
living cells with man-made camera directly to the brain
elements. Regardless of the via electrodes in contact
specific design, all of these with the visual cortex at the
devices are working towards backside of the head.
the same goal-- a permanent
replacement for part of the BIBILIOGRAPHY:
human visual system.
- “Artificial Vision for the Blind by
The electronic eye is the latest in Connecting a Television
high-tech gadgets aimed at Camera to the Brain"
helping millions of blind ASAIO Journal 2000
and visually impaired
people. Although the images WEB: www.artificialvision.com
produced by the artificial
eye were far from perfect, www.howstuffworks.co
they could be clear enough m
to allow someone who is
otherwise blind to recognize www.wikipedia.org
faces. The first useful
artificial eye is now helping
a blind man walk safely
around and read large
letters. Several efforts are
now underway to create
vision in otherwise blind
eyes. While technically
exciting, much more work
in this area needs to be
completed before anything
is available to the majority
of patients. Research is
ongoing in two areas:
cortical implants and retinal
implants. There is still an