Meet the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award winners: PBS Professor Michael Beyeler’s research on the Smart Bionic Eyed featured in new video

February 27, 2024

Groundbreaking UCSB research on a smart bionic eye, led by PBS Assistant Professor Michael Beyeler, has been featured in a new video filmed at UCSB and produced by the NIH:

Prof. Beyeler’s project, “Towards a Smart Bionic Eye: AI-Powered Artificial Vision for the Treatment of Incurable Blindness,” was selected for a NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2022. The five-year, $1.5 million grant was one of 103 awarded by the NIH to enable exceptionally creative early-career scientists to push the boundaries of biomedical science and pursue high-impact projects that aim to advance knowledge and enhance health. Michael Beyeler, who is an Asst. Professor in PBS and Computer Science, aims to bring to the mainstream an AI-powered bionic eye that can generate artificial vision, in an effort to increase the quality of life for patients who are blind or visually impaired.

“I envision a smart bionic eye that could find misplaced keys on a counter, read out medication labels, inform a user about people’s gestures and facial expressions during social interactions, and warn a user of nearby obstacles and outline safe paths” Michael said.

An audio described version for people with blindness or low vision can be found here:

Congratulations, Michael!