Fluidic Lens inspired by biological eye

UCSD researchers are developing a lens that has capsule with flexible membranes on each side. The pressure of the fluid within the capsule controls the shape of the lens. This can make for zoom and autofocus lenses that are 1/3rd the length of their comparable conventional lens.

“We try to combine the elegance of biological vision systems with the resilience of today’s optical systems to make compact, highly functional, and adaptive lens systems using the fluidic-based integrated optic technology. Notable progress includes the demonstration of (a) lenses with dynamically adaptive focal distance, NA, and field-of-view, (b) lenses that can be reversibly turned into any lens types (e.g. biconvex, bi-concave, positive meniscus, negative meniscus, plan-convex, plano-concave), (c) monolithically integrated (and hybrid) zoom lenses without moving parts, and (d) combining rather different optical functions (e.g. telephoto and reverse telephoto) using the same set of optics. The technology may find important applications in military and commercial systems, such as miniaturized cameras with zooming capabilities for cellphones, PDAs, notebook computers, surveillance cameras, etc.”

This technology is being commercialized by Rhevision Incorporated.

[Read more about this at DARPA Center for Optofluidic Integration]

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