Researchers create “sound grippers” to move objects without physical contact – .

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Researchers create “sound grippers” to move objects without physical contact – .


TORONTO – Researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan University have created “sound grippers” that can move objects without physical contact.

The technology creates contactless manipulation of small objects with sound waves using an array of ultrasonic transducers.

The transducers, an object that converts energy from one form to another, allowed researchers to generate a 3D acoustic (sound) field that trapped and lifted small polystyrene balls from a reflective surface.

While the ability to move objects without touching them has previously been achieved on a microscopic level using light, known as “optical trapping”, using sound has not been explored so fully.

In the study published in the June volume of the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, researchers found that sound waves can be applied to a wider range of sizes and materials, and are precise enough to move millimeter-sized particles. .

While acoustic levitation and manipulation hold promise for laboratory environments and other fields, technological challenges make it difficult. Researchers must individually and precisely control large arrays of ultrasonic transducers in real time and obtain the right sound fields to lift objects.

Researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan University have created a new approach to alleviate these problems and lift millimeter-sized objects by using a hemispherical array of transducers and dividing the emitted signal into manageable blocks.

By using an inverse filter on the signal emitted by the transducers, the researchers were able to find the best amplitude level for manipulating objects at a distance.

The study postulates that this new method will help make acoustic trapping a practical tool in the laboratory and in various industries.

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