Real Star Trek Tractor Beam

Photo credit: Mail Online

Researchers have developed a real-life tractor beam that uses sound to capture and maneuver objects in mid-air, similar to the one used in Star Trek, has been developed. How does it work? The technology basically focuses waves of high intensity sound to grab, lift and move small items in a similar way a human hand, or a pair of tweezers, would. Dozens of miniature ultrasonic loudspeakers are used to create an acoustic ‘hologram’ in the air above it in other words. Though it’s a long way from being powerful enough to capture larger objects, it could be perfect for assembling electronic components or for doctors conducting surgery. Continue reading for another video on tractor beams and more information.

“For their real-life tractor beam, the researchers used an array of 64 speakers to create the high-intensity sound waves which essentially creates a force field around an object like a plastic bead. By carefully controlling the output of the speakers, the bead can be lifted, held stationary, moved and rotated. It can even move several small beads at once,” according to Mail Online.