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Monash Art Design & Architecture

Putting the human touch on a revolutionary bionic eye.

“It will enable someone who is completely blind to see edges of tables and footpath in a coarse, dot-type matrix, enough to give them mobility and connect them to their loved ones.” – Professor Mark Armstrong

MADA have designed what Prof Armstrong describes as the “body-worn components” of MVG’s Gennaris bionic vision system, making them wearable, comfortable and lightweight. Whilst the majority of bionic eye researchers in Australia and overseas are developing retinal prostheses, MVG’s Gennaris sends signals wirelessly from a pair of glasses to a device implanted in the visual cortex of the brain, hence bypassing damage to the retina and optic nerve. Users will wear glasses containing a camera that captures live footage; this is distilled into a signal that is wirelessly transmitted to the implant. The signals will allow users to see outlines of objects, floors and walls via a matrix of up to 473 dots. It is hoped up to 85 per cent of people with currently incurable blindness could achieve useful vision from Gennaris.

Lead organisations
Monash University
Alfred Health
MiniFAB
Grey Innovation

Investigators
Professor Mark Armstrong
Kieran John
A/Professor Arthur de Bono

Funded by
The ARC Research in Bionic Vision Science and Technology Initiative.

The Bionic Eye

An asymmetrical concept of the ‘wearable components’. Back, right perspective detailing coil and electronics housings assembly.

The Bionic Eye

An asymmetrical concept of the ‘wearable components’.

The Bionic Eye

Front, left perspective detailing the centrally mounted, front facing camera.

The Bionic Eye

Using the same rear electronics and coil assembly as the asymmetrical version, this concept explores conventional stabilisation that may assist in reducing coil deviation.

The Bionic Eye

Brainstorming; a team of industrial designers and engineers undertaking a think tank exercise to harvest ideas for the wearable elements of the bionic vision system.

The Bionic Eye

Ideation; a collection of sketches that detail early designs and concept development.

The Bionic Eye

Rapid Prototyping; parts produced using fast and accurate 3D printing technology for testing purposes.

The Bionic Eye

Test Mule; a mechanical prototype produced for preliminary ergonomic analysis and made from laser cut spring steel, rapid prototyped plastic and polyurethane foam.

The Bionic Eye

Ergonomics; a position and deviation study of the coil assembly relative to the visual cortex implant.

MADA researchers from varied backgrounds, including professional artists, designers, architects and theorists, work together to produce vibrant, innovative, creative research that addresses the social, economic and human issues facing Australia.

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