Bionic Vision Australia researchers have successfully performed the first implantation of an early prototype bionic eye with 24 electrodes.
(Bionic eye animation)
Ms Dianne Ashworth has profound vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited condition. She has
now received what she calls a ‘pre-bionic eye’ implant that enables her to experience some vision. A
passionate technology fan, Ms Ashworth was motivated to make a contribution to the bionic eye research
After years of hard work and planning, Ms Ashworth’s implant was switched on last month at the Bionics
Institute, while researchers held their breaths in the next room, observing via video link.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but all of a sudden, I could see a little flash…it was amazing. Every time
there was stimulation there was a different shape that appeared in front of my eye,” Ms Ashworth said.
Professor Emeritus David Penington AC, Chairman of Bionic Vision Australia said: “These results have
fulfilled our best expectations, giving us confidence that with further development we can achieve useful
vision. Much still needs to be done in using the current implant to ‘build’ images for Ms Ashworth. The
next big step will be when we commence implants of the full devices.”
Although bionic eyes are not to be found in the novel Cyborg, they were provided to Steve Austin in the television show made from the novel - The Six Million Dollar Man.