Combining gesture interface, augmented reality and virtual reality interfaces, drones, power beaming, beam forming, robotics, magnetic levitation and sonic levitation would enable people to mimick the Star Wars Force or Fictional Telekenesis.
Drones with speakers would be able to get into position to provide sonic leviation.
Power beaming would enable higher power usage on the drones and their manipulation devices.
Drones could be controlled by gestures and direct sonic leviation.
Beam Forming to enhance sonic manipulation
Wireless power transmission will be the next wave of application for real time beamforming. Microwaves and cellular signals can be beamed into a small spot. Sound waves could be shaped and projected to different points.
Researchers at the Universities of Sussex and Bristol, in collaboration with Ultrahaptics, have now built a working tractor beam that uses high-amplitude soundwaves to generate an acoustic hologram that can pick up and move small objects.
The team is now designing different variations of this system. A bigger version with a different working principle that aims at levitating a soccer ball from 10 meters away; and a smaller version, targeted at manipulating particles inside the human body.
It could be developed for a wide range of applications. For example, a sonic production line could transport delicate objects and assemble them, all without physical contact. Or a miniature version could grip and transport drug capsules or microsurgical instruments through living tissue.
The researchers used an array of 64 miniature loudspeakers (driven at 40Khz with 15Vpp. The whole system consumes 9 Watts of power) to create high-pitched and high-intensity sound waves to levitate a spherical bead (of up to 4mm in diameter) made of expanded polystyrene.
The tractor beam works by surrounding the object with high-intensity sound to create a force field that keeps the objects in place. By carefully controlling the output of the loudspeakers, the object can be either held in place, moved or rotated.
Asier Marzo, PHD student and lead author, levitating a polystyrene ball with soundwaves.
Schematic rendering of the working volume of previously suggested manipulator
Pictures of one-sided levitation in mid-air