Microcomputer-based artificial vision support system for real-time image processing for camera-driven visual prostheses

Wolfgang Fink, Cindy X. You, Mark A. Tarbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


It is difficult to predict exactly what blind subjects with camera-driven visual prostheses (e.g., retinal implants) can perceive. Thus, it is prudent to offer them a wide variety of image processing filters and the capability to engage these filters repeatedly in any userdefined order to enhance their visual perception. To attain true portability, we employ a commercial off-the-shelf battery-powered general purpose Linux microprocessor platform to create the microcomputer-based artificial vision support system (μAVS 2) for real-time image processing. Truly standalone, μAVS 2 is smaller than a deck of playing cards, lightweight, fast, and equipped with USB, RS-232 and Ethernet interfaces. Image processing filters on μAVS 2 operate in a user-defined linear sequential-loop fashion, resulting in vastly reduced memory and CPU requirements during execution. μAVS 2 imports raw video frames from a USB or IP camera, performs image processing, and issues the processed data over an outbound Internet TCP/IP or RS-232 connection to the visual prosthesis system. Hence, μAVS 2 affords users of current and future visual prostheses independent mobility and the capability to customize the visual perception generated. Additionally, μAVS 2 can easily be reconfigured for other prosthetic systems. Testing of μAVS 2 with actual retinal implant carriers is envisioned in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016013
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Image processing
  • Microprocessor
  • Portable artificial vision system
  • Real-time image processing
  • Smartphone
  • Visual prosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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