Welcome to the

Visual and Autonomous Exploration Systems
Research Laboratory

Wolfgang Fink, Ph.D., founded the Visual and Autonomous Exploration Systems Research Laboratory in 2003 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, USA.

Since October 2009, Dr. Fink has been an Associate Professor and the inaugural Edward & Maria Keonjian Endowed Chair in Microelectronics at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Systems & Industrial Engineering, and Ophthalmology & Vision Science. He has a Visiting Associate in Physics appointment at Caltech, as well as concurrent appointments as Visiting Research Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurological Surgery at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.            


February 10, 2014

UA engineers under direction of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Fink have turned an off-the-shelf digital camera into an imaging device that could be key in the search for life forms on other planets. The next time a NASA rover blasts off to explore Mars or some other planet, it might be equipped with a new type of "do-it-all" camera developed by an engineering team at the University of Arizona. 

November 25, 2013

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Fink, a physicist and engineer, at the University of Arizona has developed novel retinal implant stimulation strategies that assist in bringing light back into peoples lives. Use of the implant involves four pieces of equipment. First, a set of glasses with a built-in camera transmits video images to a mobile phone app. The phone then relays that information to a micro-processing chip implanted on the eye. That chip then sends a signal to another chip implanted on the retina that electrically stimulates the remaining healthy layers of an otherwise damaged retina.

November 24, 2013

Wolfgang Fink, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is working on research in developing retinal implants that includes filtering images for the visually impaired. Fink said the filter options, which include contrast and brightness enhancement, could be used to artificially enhance what a visually impaired patient sees in real time. "We can now customize or optimize what enters the patient’s implant through image processing,” Fink said. “We use the filters to enhance their quality of life."

November 15, 2013

New technology is helping some blind people see again, but a University of Arizona researcher says it can be even better. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a retinal implant for people whose retinas have been damaged by disease. UA Associate Professor of Engineering Dr. Wolfgang Fink believes he and his colleagues can improve the implant and help once-blind people see better.

November 4, 2013

Researchers at the University of Arizona and University of Tübingen have made a breakthrough in retinal implant technology that could help people who have lost their sight see more than just light and vague shapes. Dr. Wolfgang Fink, Associate Professor and the inaugural Edward & Maria Keonjian Endowed Chair in the UA Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, is researching new implant design and methods of electrical stimulation of the retina that will enable retinal implants to produce much clearer images.