Sheila Niremberg - bionic eye encoding ~ solved [technical miracle]
Sheila Niremberg, PhD, is a researcher at Cornell University and she runs the Niremberg Lab. There, she generally appears to chase the question "How do networks of neurons process information?".
Recently it appears they developed an encoder and transducer unit that allows to replace the eye up to the optical nerve. This, and the way they go about this, is ground breaking. I cannot conceal that I instantly became a great fan of hers : )
It does not directly relate to prosthetic arms as suggested in this ExtremeTech post. There, signal patterns as such are one thing that can be modeled well enough or close enough for rock'n'roll - what is the problem there are signal quality, there are massive bio-mechanical problems inasmuch as fine motor control, full body surface integration, adequate weight and extreme usage are concerned. Also, stump muscle activation, phantom pain and stump overuse are further problems. Socket mounts for extensive myoelectric signal pickup that also work well for everyday use are not solved at all as far as I know and there is no point in wearing the fully bionic hand whose parts are so light weight and whimsical that it cannot even pop open a peanut bag. The major problems there are massive, outside anything any academic has ever taken an interest in so far - not so much the logic of signal decoding or training a software to decode specific signals as such. That is why in fact, the field of prosthetic arms has been stalling inasmuch as real works have been concerned.
But what we see here is that there do exist individuals that take a very serious interest in very specific problems that prosthetic replacements can pose to academic research. There is hope someone will in fact work towards better skin socket interfaces, better energy sources, better wrist and hand mechanics, and better weight distributions. Seeing this presentation I would say that maybe there is hope.