Researchers at the University of Sussex have become the first in the world to develop technology which can bend sound waves around an obstacle and levitate an object above it.
SoundBender, developed by Professor Sriram Subramanian, Dr Gianluca Memoli and Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia at the University of Sussex, is an interface capable of producing dynamic self-bending beams that enable both levitation of small objects and tactile feedback around an obstacle.
The technology, to be presented at the 31st ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium in Berlin this Monday (15 October), overcomes two key limitations of previous ultrasound levitation set-ups, which were unable to create sound fields of similar complexity and could not bypass obstacles that lay between the transducers and the levitating object.
Dr Memoli, Lecturer in Novel Interfaces and Interactions at the University of Sussex, said: “This is a significant step forward for ultrasound levitation and overcomes a significant drawback that has been hampering development in this field. We have achieved incredibly dynamic and responsive control, so real-time adjustments are just one step away.”
University of Sussex researchers overcame these challenges by developing a hybrid system that combines the versatility of phased arrays of transducers (PATs) with the precision of acoustic metamaterials while helping to eliminate the restrictions on sound field resolution and variability each of the previous approaches applied.
The technology allows users to experience haptic feedback beyond an obstacle; to levitate around an obstacle and to manipulate non-solid objects such as changing the direction of a candle’s flame.
With SoundBender, the metamaterial provides a low modulator pitch to help create sound fields with high spatial resolution while the PAT adds dynamic amplitude and phase control of the field.
Dr Martinez-Plasencia, Lecturer in Interactive Graphics at the University of Sussex, said: “We were attracted to this project due to its similarities between optical holography and acoustics. However, the project has been a great trip of discovery, helping us understand how crucial it is to have high spatial resolution (i.e. the metamaterial), or the techniques required to combine PATs and metamaterials. I am really happy that we can now share all this insight with the rest of the community”
The development opens up new potential in ultrasound levitation, which has a distinct advantage over other levitation techniques because it requires no specific physical properties, such as magnetic or electric, in the object to be levitated and can therefore be applied to a far wider range of materials including liquids and food.
The concept of self-bending beams was initially used in engineering applications, to obscure buildings from noise or protect areas from earthquakes, but this is the first time it has been adopted for use in acoustic levitation
The hybrid system allows for a number of fun applications including new educational experiences with museum displays, enhanced board games with new levels of interactivity, the potential to direct desired smells from a diffuser to where they are needed, the ability to control motion in non-solid items (such as dry ice or fire) and the potential to synchronize these movements to music.
Receive an email update when we add a new ULTRASOUND LEVITATION article.
The Latest on: Ultrasound levitation
via Google News
The Latest on: Ultrasound levitation
- Levitation becomes a reality on October 31, 2018 at 10:23 am
Researchers at the University of Glasgow, UK, have managed to suspend little polystyrene particles in mid-air, supported only by ultrasonic acoustic waves. This is levitation. The technology may ... […]
- SoundBender levitates objects by curving sound waves around obstacles on October 16, 2018 at 5:34 am
"This is a significant step forward for ultrasound levitation and overcomes a significant drawback that has been hampering development in this field," says Gianluca Memoli, co-creator of SoundBender. ... […]
- Sussex engineers develop ‘world-first’ levitation technology on October 16, 2018 at 2:36 am
Ultrasonic waves have previously been used to create levitation, but could not bypass obstacles. SoundBender, developed by Professor Sriram Subramanian, Dr Gianluca Memoli and Dr Diego Martinez Plasen... […]
- Demonstration of ultrasonic levitation on September 13, 2018 at 10:35 am
Caption: Demonstration of ultrasonic levitation, showing polystyrene balls levitating above a loudspeaker. The balls can be put back in position after being removed by the forceps at left. Ultrasonic ... […]
- The Ultrasonic Levitation Machine Lets You Levitate Objects Using Soundwaves on August 22, 2018 at 4:51 pm
You’re be the life of the party once you show off your levitation skills! Okay, maybe you might not have the power to personally levitate anything, but with the Ultrasonic Levitation Machine on hand, ... […]
- Using Acoustic Levitation for Applications Going Way Beyond Novelty on August 9, 2018 at 10:11 am
We’ve all seen acoustic levitation, it’s one of the scientific novelties of our age and a regular on the circuit of really impressive physical demonstrations of science to the public. The sight of arr... […]
- ultrasonic levitation on April 23, 2018 at 1:31 am
Ultrasonic phased arrays are one of the wonders of the moment, with videos of small items being levitated by them shared far and wide. We’ve all seen them and some of us have even wondered about build... […]
- University takes cue from Aladdin for ‘magical’ wafer levitation on April 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm
According to the team of researchers, “a near-field or squeeze-field” levitation is applied to lift a wafer by direct radiation of its underside within the near field of a high intensity ultrasonic tr... […]
- World's most powerful tractor beam 'like a pair of robot hands' on February 20, 2018 at 11:16 am
The levitation technique used 256 tiny loudspeakers arranged around a laboratory test rig. The speakers generate ultrasound that’s too high pitched for the human ear to hear. Image: At 170 decibels th... […]
via Bing News