Acoustic Holograms Form Ultrasonic Tractor Beams for Tiny Objects – IEEE Spectrum

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  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sonic tractor beam invented (w/ Video)

    A team of researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Sussex in collaboration with Ultrahaptics have built the world’s first sonic tractor beam that can lift and move objects using sound waves.

    The technique, published in Nature Communications, could be developed for a wide range of applications, for example a sonic production line could transport delicate objects and assemble them, all without physical contact. On the other hand, a miniature version could grip and transport drug capsules or microsurgical instruments through living tissue.

    Asier Marzo, PhD student and the lead author, said: “It was an incredible experience the first time we saw the object held in place by the tractor beam. All my hard work has paid off, it’s brilliant.”

    The researchers used an array of 64 miniature loudspeakers to create high-pitch and high-intensity sound waves. The tractor beam works by surrounding the object with high-intensity sound and this creates a force field that keeps the objects in place. By carefully controlling the output of the loudspeakers the object can be either held in place, moved or rotated.

    The team have shown that three different shapes of acoustic force fields work as tractor beams.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Near-field acoustic levitation: It’s not a magician’s illusion–It-s-not-a-magician-s-illusion?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_analog_20151029&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_analog_20151029&elq=cc74bb395b744beda3e349127e2de945&elqCampaignId=25469&elqaid=28962&elqat=1&elqTrackId=f38e6b79813f4324982328edf3697795

    Near Field Acoustic Levitation (NFAL) is being used in the form of ultrasonic bearing technology.1 A gas is used in the levitation gap of the bearing which provides lubrication on the journal. High precision gyros can also benefit from this technology.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Even if I could take off, I could never get past the tractor beam!

    Finally our childhood dreams of a working tractor beam are coming to fruition! It’s called acoustic levitation and it actually uses highly concentrated sound waves to float small objects by essentially creating an acoustic force field.

    The researchers have discovered three optimum acoustic traps which allow for manipulating objects in space with nothing more than sound. If you could see sound, the array of speakers work together to create what would look like a hologram — which is the acoustic trap

    Holographic acoustic elements for manipulation of levitated objects


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