“Bionics” is the word came from bi (as in “life”) + onics (as in “electronics”) and it is the study of mechanical systems that function like living organisms or parts of living organisms. These may be programmed or non-programmed devices which are going to be part of the living body. We have already created some bionic devices and people are using around us. But still, we have a lot of things to know about bionics.
Why we need bionics or prosthesis whatever?
The living body has made up of biological organs which are combined to run or make it function. And biological organs are like mechanical devices such as engine, wheel, gearbox is combined to run a car or any vehicle. So where it get differs from machines, all mechanical devices such as engine wheal are mostly made up of solid metal and gears and little chemicals. But most of the living organs are made up of chemicals which are in liquid state and some parts like bones are solid state. All other functions are the same. Let me describe it in depth.
Let us know the functionality of the eye, the eye has few components like retina, lens, ciliary muscle, etc. When eyes are looking at the objects, it receives the light (photons) which are reflected from that object and it focuses the light by using the lens and it will let it hit the screen called retina where the receiving cells called cone and rod cells are presents. So how these lenses are focusing? Yes, the eye system has a special muscle called ciliary muscle which takes orders from the brain and it will contract and expand on demand of the brain’s order. And ciliary muscles are connected around the lens, since the lenses are flexible like plasma, it let lens to contraction and expansion according to the demand of the brain. And focused light will be sent to hit the layer called retina, then the electrode like cells called rod cells and cone cells converts light beam into the electrical signal which is readable by the brain. (And these will be described in the video given in this article)
The camera which we are using currently is having the same functionality which takes images through lenses and makes it focus to the screen where it has the electrodes like retina of eye and converts into standard formats like .jpg or whatever. So we got some thread here which connect this biological eye and camera. In the place of the biological lens, we can use optical lenses which are been used in cameras and all the focusing technologies along with it.
What is the most challenging part of this?
Converting these electrical signals into the biological signals are always the challenging part here. So here we have to understand another concept called functions of neurons. Neurons are also like a wire of electronic devices, but it will be in the size of micrometers. Which transfers information through the electrons and holes transmission through ionization changes between sodium and potassium ions. So we have to encode the brain’s electrical signal into machine’s electrical signal and make it connects with the system which is acting like the ciliary muscle in the machine so that the device which is acting like the focusing lens will take orders from the brain and it will shrink or expand as per brain’s focal length requirements. So light beam can reach the retina. There is another challenge is there, that the retina should convert all the light beams into biological-electrical signal and it should be sent to the brain.
Here some real time research statistics says that the first attempt of clinical trials is succeeded. In that almost 90% of people are reporting that they could able to find the shape of mouth’s movements like a smile, laugh, etc., then the small objects like mobile phones, keys even few colors. The University of Tubingen in Germany has developed a project called Alpha IMS which has the feature like connected to your brain via 1,500 electrodes, providing unparalleled visual acuity and resolution and it is IMS is a completely self-contained built-in sensor that directly gathers its imagery from the light that passes into your eye. So it becomes the first true self-contained bionic eye.
So we can able to convert all the biological functionalities into the machines which are also called the bionics or the advanced, well-engineered prosthesis. So it is very easy to replace the basic function of the eye and we need not wait for the organ donor to donate the organ. Just order the bionic device and replace it.
The major parts of our living bodies are very easy to replace with bionic devices. Like artificial kidney, artificial lunge and even an artificial heart. It is even possible to replace the brain too. Since no one found the usage of our brain 100%, no one can able to think about the 100% replacement of the brain. But it is partially possible to replace the human brain. Think about it, a man who will be having most of his body parts are bionics and he could able to dismantle it whenever he wants and he could able to upgrade it whenever he wants. It will be the gift for a human who lost his body parts in accidents if every Challenging part are possible.
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