Artificial Eye that transforms blur images into clear images

elsctronic eye
The artificial eye

Inspired by the human eye, researchers have developed an adaptive metalens, essentially a flat, electronically controlled artificial eye. This eye automatically stretches to simultaneously focus and correct several factors that contribute to blurry images. The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism and image shift.

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed an adaptive metalens. This research combines breakthroughs in artificial muscle technology with metalens technology to create a tunable metalens that can change its focus in real time, just like the human eye, said a researcher at SEAS.

artificial eye
The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism and image shift.

The Harvard Office of Technology Development has protected the intellectual property relating to this project and is exploring commercialization opportunities.

What researchers have to say

To build this artificial eye, the researchers first needed to scale-up the metalense.

Researchers said that prior metalenses were about the size of a single piece of glitter. They focus light and eliminate spherical aberrations trough a dense pattern of nano-structures, each smaller than a wavelength of light.

“Because the nano-structures are so small, the density of information in each lens is incredibly high,” said Alan She, first author of the paper. “On increasing the size of lens, information required to describe a lens increases by 10,000. As we scale-up the lens, the file size of the design would balloon up to gigabytes, even terabytes.”

The researchers developed a new algorithm to shrink the file size and to make the metalens compatible with the technology. In a paper recently published in Optics Express the researchers demonstrated the design and fabrication of metalenses up to centimeters or more in diameter.

The research is published in Science Advances.

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