Meta is bringing more realistic haptic interactions, and in the latest development, the company has announced that it is going to develop a mechanical bionic eye. Very recently, the company applied for a patent for a mechanical bionic eye called Two-axis rotatable mechanical eyeball. A document containing the details of the said bionic eye mentioned that the sphere is a robotic eye that is very similar to a human eye and that the bionic eye has two axes of rotation that intersect at a central point. The patent was filed in June 2019 and approved on December 7, 2021.
Meta has mentioned that the bionic eye will be made in accordance with the robot head and that it will come equipped with sensors; moreover, using machine learning it can be trained and further improved. The patent describes that the eyeballs of the bionic eye will have a mold that is similar to the human skin.
As far as its usage goes, a Meta spokesperson said, “The company does not comment on the specific coverage of its patents or the reasons for applying for them. Generally speaking, patents do not necessarily cover use in our products and services.” Be that as it may, one cannot help but wonder how Meta can use the bionic eye to build Facebook’s AR/VR applications.
This would not be the first time that Meta has decided to add human sensory features to a robot. Previously the company has developed a touch-sensing robotic skin which was called ReSkin. ReSkin is only 2-3mm thick and has a rubber-like surface that is embedded with magnetic particles.
Yann LeCun, the chief artificial intelligence scientist at Meta, – “This is where AI researchers are trying to get to. Perception, reasoning, planning, and action form a complete closed loop that goes on and on, and finally gets feedback from the environment.”
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Meta has also touched upon the auditory aspect by introducing the Oculus headset, thereby Meta has opened up the three human sensory experiences in the Metaverse. Meta has also announced the project of “Pneumatic Haptic Gloves” which lets the users experience grasping objects through airbags.
Associated with robots there is another branch of the Metaverse called Robot Metaverse, and the above-mentioned technologies will make the robots of the Metaverse more human-like. Meta developed the Codec Avatar Project and the full-body video codecs to improve the human experience in the Metaverse.