Did you think that the Sonic screwdriver would always remain as a fiction tool of Doctor Who? Researchers have recently converted that fantasy into a reality with GauntLev. The device is still quite far in functionality from the miraculous multifunctional screwdriver which Doctor Who had, yet, sonic levitation is nonetheless, super-hero-cool.
After tinkering with levitation techniques for years, researchers have finally produced the revolutionary wearable GauntLev in 2016 at the University of Bristol, England. GauntLev uses acoustic levitation to levitate and hold particles in mid-air using sound waves. Acoustic transducers reflect sound waves off one another to create a standing wave which forms an ‘acoustic trap’ that helps to hold the object without actually touching it.
At the moment, it can only be used to lift minuscule objects, but this futuristic technology will undoubtedly contribute to handling dangerous or fragile materials without physical contact. The technology can trap particles in air or water. Previously, there was no way to control their movement. The Gauntlet and a Sonic Screwdriver can not only capture these particles but can also, move, transfer and comb them. In future, the same maneuvers will be performed through computers for stabilization and better accuracy.
GauntLev is just a glove that can help levitate and move objects at the palm of a person’s hand. The Sonic Screwdrivers and the Ultra Tongs are different configurations of this technology.
The prototypes currently presented are not robust enough to levitate larger objects, but still, these prototypes are quite useful particularly in medical technologies to administer drugs to inaccessible areas of the human brain.
You can now stop dreaming of having super powers of X-Men Magneto and start designing your super-hero costume because, in future, you may have the power of levitation.
In which domains, do you think this technology can be used to yield better results? Comment below!