While technology is still a ways away from giving sight to the fully blind, those in the US who are partially blind now have the option of being fitted with the first FDA approved bionic eye to help restore vision.
In a step towards a future without blindness, scientists in Australia have implanted the world’s first fully working bionic eyeball. The eye isn’t perfect, but it’s given the recipient the ability to see and distinguish basic shapes.
In the future, the old nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice” may not make sense, at least not after scientists cured blindness in mice after scientists figured out how to cure diseased retinas, restoring the eye’s ability to send signals to the brain.
Research into ways of restoring blindness through technology continues to march forward and before you know it, not being able to see will be a thing of the past. The key to interfacing technology with the brain is knowing the language that the brain speaks. Know that and you can give accurate signals to tell the brain whatever you want.
Real-life seeing eye dogs are pretty reliable and work pretty well, so why create a robotic seeing eye dog? I don’t know. Maybe you need a seeing eye dog on Mars or in a dangerous war zone or if you have the need for a seeing eye dog through a cloud of noxious chemicals or something. In any case, NSK is working on such a robotic seeing eye dog with the help of Kinect technology.