‘Tweezers Of Sound’ Can Pick Up Objects Without Any Physical Contact
A new technology developed by scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University allows for objects to be picked up without any physical contact.
Dubbed ‘tweezers of sound’, the technology utilises acoustic trapping, which involves sound waves being used to manipulate small objects.
Footage of the technology shows a small polystyrene ball hovering in the air thanks to ultrasound transducers, which generate a 3D acoustic field. In turn, the field is able to stably trap and lift the ball into the air, as if it was being picked up by a set of invisible tweezers.
The technology comes from researcher Shota Kondo and associate professor Kan Okubo of the Tokyo Metropolitan University, who manipulated millimetre-sized objects using a hemispherical array of transducers with phase and amplitude control.
Scientists have long used another method, known as optical trapping, to move objects without touching them by using laser light. However the method has limits on the properties of the objects which can be moved. Acoustic trapping, on the other hand, can be applied to a wider range of object sizes and materials.
See footage of the acoustic trapping below:
The method involves splitting the array of transducers into blocks, and using an inverse filter that finds the best phase and amplitude to drive the blocks to make a single trap, Eurekalert reports. By adjusting how they drive the blocks over time, the researchers can change the position of the target field and move the object they have trapped.
The researchers have demonstrated their findings with simulations of the 3D acoustic fields that are created by the arrays, as well as with their experiments with the polystyrene ball.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read