Harvard artificial eye surpasses natural

Scientists from Harvard reported on solving the problem of compatibility between the technology "metalins" and artificial muscles, which are needed to control the artificial eye. Their prototype is only 30 microns thick, but it can simultaneously focus, correct aberrations, astigmatism and other types of blur in real time, which are problematic to compensate with traditional optical systems. And it is, in theory, universal.

Adaptive metallenses are constructions that can deform fragmentarily at the nanoscale, change their structure to compensate for optical aberrations. But for this you need to very accurately apply a series of efforts to them, for which you need to figure out how to control artificial muscles. Only one description of the parameters of the structure of a metalens with a diameter of 1 cm and a thickness of 30 microns takes several terabytes, and when the device is scaled, its complexity increases incredibly.

Harvard is proud of the fact that they have developed algorithms to minimize these calculations, have simplified metal lens control systems to a level where the technology can be implemented in integrated circuits. Plus, we solved the problem of attaching muscles to the lens - we selected a polymer with suitable scattering parameters of the light passing through it. Now both the metal lens and control systems are concentrated in one plane - this is a kind of ready-made module for integration into other optical systems.

In theory, metalens with artificial muscles can be used in photographic and video equipment, telescopes, electronic eyes of robots, in implants, microscopes and virtual reality glasses. In practice, the technology is still very far from commercial implementation - scientists have only combined two key elements, but the effectiveness of this tandem still needs to be worked out.