Mechanical diaphragms for optical devices were not invented yesterday, but they all have one fundamental feature - they are controlled from the outside. Therefore, if we want to create a man-made "eye" that should react to light in the same way as a real one, we will have to equip it with an illumination sensor and a controller. Cumbersome and inconvenient, but a team of Finnish and Polish scientists came up with an alternative.
The new development is a special version of the elastomer that is sensitive to light - under its influence, the substance begins to expand. Scientists have created a small lens with a hole in the middle that simulates the behavior of the human pupil. If you illuminate it, the expansion of the elastomer mechanically reduces the size of the hole and vice versa - the less light, the wider the "pupil".
The principle is simple and scientists are not proud of this at all, but the fact that their development does not require either energy sources or auxiliary mechanisms. The polymer substance functions passively, its behavior depends only on the presence of light sources. This can be the basis for artificial pupils, eye implants to replace or treat damaged organs of vision.
Currently, scientists are focused on calibration, they want to identify the limits of the sensitivity of the elastomer and "teach" it to respond to the smallest changes in the brightness of light. To create even more accurate and reliable devices.