Bionic vision a step closer with the CSIRO’s new computing system 

People with profound vision loss are one step closer to having their sight effectively restored, thanks to a new investment from Australia’s chief science body into a large-scale scientific computing system.

The new Bracewell system, which is being used by Data61’s computer vision group that is building software for a bionic vision solution, was made by computing giant Dell and is designed to expand CSIRO’s capacity in deep learning.

CSIRO associate professor Nick Barnes, who is leading the bionic vision research at Data61,  said the new system would allow his team to more accurately identify objects in a blind person’s vision that are detected via an implant at the back of a vision-impaired person’s eye and appear as spots of light.

The implant works by stimulating the surviving nerve cells in the retina with electrical signals, which are gathered from a camera in a pair of smart glasses. This creates neurological information about what the person is “seeing”.

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