VISOR-like Implants Allow Eyeless Woman To See

By Michelle
April 5, 2006 - 8:26 PM

A new device that works like Geordi LaForge's VISOR is allowing a woman to "see" even though she lost both her eyes in a car accident.

The Seoul Times has an extended article on a device previously discussed at News 14 Charlotte, which has allowed Cheri Robertson to perceive light with her brain.

"I just call myself the robo-chick," said Robertson, who was blinded at age 19. Determined to try to see again, she became the 16th person in the world to have special electrodes implanted in her brain. The surgery took place in Portugal, though American neurosurgeons hope to pioneer it in the United States in the next five years.

"I said, Oh my God, I can see it. I can see it,' and I was just so excited!" Robertson recalled when the camera attached to her specially designed glasses began to send signals to the computer strapped to her waist that stimulates electrodes in the brain. She can perceive flashes of light and the outlines of objects.

Unlike the VISOR, the surgery only works on patients who could once see. "Artificial vision for the blind was once the stuff of science fiction. Lt. Geordi La Forge from Star Trek and the bionic eye of The Six Million Dollar Man are both examples," noted the article, which reported that the procedure costs about $120,000.

More information is here.

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