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Man Invents Robot To Insert And Remove Contact Lenses

by : Hannah Smith on : 10 Nov 2020 13:28
Man Invents Robot To Insert And Remove Contact Lenses.Cliara Eyes / WPLG Local 10

Anyone who has ever worn contact lenses knows how much of a nightmare they can be. But is letting a robotic device poke around your eyes really the solution? 

Craig Hershoff thinks so, and so has developed a product that uses robotic technology to insert and remove contact lenses.

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CLIARA, which stands for ‘contact lens insertion and removal apparatus’, uses sensors and suction cups to determine the precise amount of force needed to insert and remove the lenses. Hershoff, from Florida, began working on the product after he began suffering from anxiety following the death of his wife, which caused his hands to shake when trying to put in or take out his contact lenses.

WPLG Local 10

The inventor had previously suffered from Fuch’s dystrophy, a condition that can cause blindness, for which he received three corneal transplants in 10 years. He has since discovered a specific type of contact lens, known as ‘scleral lenses’, which helped improve his sight, and was inspired by his struggles to invent a tool that would help other users with dexterity issues to deal with their own contact lens problems.

He told CNN:

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What happens in a few years if I actually have a tremor and I can’t get these lenses in? I need them to see and I don’t have anyone to help put them in for me

CLIARA is designed to help with exactly that. The ‘simple’ tool uses a voice command to activate the device, which moves up to the user’s eye and uses ‘very sensitive force sensors’ to detect when it has made contact with the eye. Depending on whether you’re inserting or removing the lens, the device then either releases or connects with the lens, before retracting back down from eye.

Hershoff says there is also a camera and video display attached to the device so users are able to see exactly where the device is placing the lens. The product only works on scleral lenses, and is waiting on FDA approval, but he has tested it on other patients.

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In an interview with local news channel WPLG Local 10, he said:

We’ve tried it on a few elderly people…people with disabilities involving dexterity, and they’ve all liked it and appreciated how well it works.

The inventor has previously designed a manual version of the device, which requires users to apply pressure themselves to insert or remove the lens.

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Topics: Technology, Now, Robotics

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CNN
  1. CNN

    Florida man invents robot to insert and remove contact lenses