3D Mid-Air Acoustic Manipulation


One of the coolest, fascinating and unusual phenomena in science is called “acoustic levitation” which refers to the ability to bring objects to float in mid-air using sound waves. Some Japanese scientists at the university of tokyo recently created a way to levitate objects, in a very exact way, using sound waves and put a video of this awesome sensation later on youtube, which shows the latest results in the field of acoustic levitation very impressively in detail. The new system uses a 3D array of speakers, with the help of which the controlled levitation & movement of objects is successfully experimented. The idea of ​​acoustic levitation is relatively simple. In this process strong sound waves are produced, for example, deep bass tones or ultrasonic sound that brings the air to move, so if the speakers are placed opposite of each other and a relatively lightwieght object is put in the center where both the inter-directed loudspeakers or the emerging waves meet, the object in the center starts hovering in the air.

Once the object starts hovering in the mid-air, it can actually be manipulated it in 3D space, making particles of sand form floating geometric patterns and electronic components dance in space (as shown in the video experiment below). The device that was used for 3D Mid-Air Acoustic Manipulation experiment uses ultrasonic speakers and is almost completely silent. (The following video is a proof). acoustic levitation logically has its limits, but it is still relatively unexplored and it is always inspiring to look at the visual effects involved in levitaion by sound. The video experiments show the acoustic levitation conducted by the students and professors of the University of Tokyo and the Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan. This might be a one step closer to hover cars and hoverboards from back to the future movie

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