Ultrasonic Transducer Array Levitates and Moves Objects

Levitation can be accomplished via carefully arranged magnets, or even a blast of air, but now it can even be achieved with ultrasonic…

Jeremy Cook
5 years ago

Levitation can be accomplished via carefully arranged magnets, or even a blast of air, but now it can even be achieved with ultrasonic waves. The Ultraino by Asier Marzo — outlined here and in this research paper — is not only able to suspend small particles, but can even move them back and forth using an array of 64 transducers.

The video below here goes through exactly how to build such a device, soldering components together to make an Arduino Mega shield to control the sound transducers. Once in place, these transducers must be input into a computer simulation using another transducer to read them.

The simulation program (available for download here) is shown at 7:00, and provides a visual graph of the forces at work, which can even be output into an Excel sheet. Levitation is demonstrated at 8:30, allowing the transducers to suspend a particle as well as move it around the surface, storing movement patterns as needed for later playback.

In addition to “simply” levitating a Styrofoam particle, a standing wave generator, with transducers facing each other, is also shown suspending several drops of liquid. Later, this type of setup is used for haptic feedback, and even as a directional speaker. While this tech is still something of a novelty, one can imagine it advancing to enable even more exciting applications in the future!

Jeremy Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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