A team of researchers from the Innovation Center Russian Skolkovo Present the audience with a device that could change the lives of blind people forever.
The device named Elvis– short for Electronic Vision (electronic vision, in Spanish) – consists of a neural implant, a headband with two cameras, and a microcomputer.
A microchip implanted in the brain stimulates the visual cortex, which gives a blind person the impression that they can see. The microcomputer then analyzes the images captured by the headband-mounted cameras in real time and defines them with the help of artificial intelligence. Finally, it sends the data back to the implant.
The creators of the device claim that it will be very useful for people who have lost their sight due to trauma or suffer from retinal detachment or optic atrophy. At the same time, it is not yet known whether it will work in the same way in blind people from birth. Project managerDenis Kuleshov recalls that there are about 300,000 blind people in Russia alone.
So far, researchers are testing the implant in lab mice. However, when they get the proper permission, they plan to install it on ten volunteers. Anyone who is blind has the opportunity to participate in the clinical trials of the device, scheduled for the years 2023-2026: it is simply necessary send Their story through the project website.
“While this still does not qualify as a replacement for sight, “It’s something that will definitely improve the quality of life for blind people,” said Kirill Kayum, Skolkovo’s vice president, who likens the invention to a cochlear implant that restores hearing for people with hearing difficulties.
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