Three-Dimensional Mid-Air Acoustic Manipulation (2013-)

Yoichi Ochiai,  Takayuki Hoshi and Jun Rekimoto ( University of Tokyo, Nagoya Institute of Technology, University of Tokyo and Sony CSL )

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Yoichi Ochiai, Takayuki Hoshi, Jun Rekimoto: Three-dimensional Acoustic Mid-Air Manipulation arXiv:1312.4006


   author = {{Ochiai}, Y. and {Hoshi}, T. and {Rekimoto}, J.},

    title = "{Three-dimensional Mid-air Acoustic Manipulation by Ultrasonic Phased Arrays}",

  journal = {ArXiv e-prints},

archivePrefix = "arXiv",

   eprint = {1312.4006},

primaryClass = "physics.class-ph",

keywords = {Physics - Classical Physics, H.5.2},

     year = 2013,

    month = dec,

   adsurl = {},

  adsnote = {Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System}


星貴之, 落合陽一, 暦本純一: 対向する超音波フェーズドアレイを用いた三次元非接触マニピュレーション,  第 34 回超音波エレクトロニクスの基礎と応用に関するシンポジウム (USE2013) 講演論文集, pp. 587-588, 京都, 11 月 20-22 日, 2013.

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(This project is working progress. Patent pending and we continue this topic)
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The essence of levitation technology is the countervailing of gravity. It is known that an ultrasound standing wave is capable of suspending small particles at its sound pressure nodes and, so far, this method has been used to levitate lightweight particles, small creatures, and water droplets.

The acoustic axis of the ultrasound beam in these previous studies was parallel to the gravitational force, and the levitated objects were manipulated along the fixed axis (i.e. one-dimensionally) by controlling the phases or frequencies of bolted Langevin-type transducers. In the present study, we considered extended acoustic manipulation whereby millimetre-sized particles were levitated and moved three-dimensionally by localised ultrasonic standing waves, which were generated by ultrasonic phased arrays. Our manipulation system has two original features. One is the direction of the ultrasound beam, which is arbitrary because the force acting toward its centre is also utilised. The other is the manipulation principle by which a localised standing wave is generated at an arbitrary position and moved three-dimensionally by opposed and ultrasonic phased arrays. We experimentally confirmed that various materials could be manipulated by our proposed method.
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Movie: USE2013 version, Japanese