Technology has progressed at an alarming rate in the last twenty years. The stuff of stories has become everyday tools and digital devices. Essentially, what used to be science fiction is now a reality.
Take the tractor beam, for example.
A piece of technology popularized by space-epics like Star Wars, the tractor beam used to be something you could only expect to see in the movies.
But now, thanks to modern innovations like 3D printers and newly published research, almost anyone can build their own tractor beam inside of their own homes. Asier Marzo of the Public University of Navarre will even show you how to do it on a YouTube video. Seriously.
The Story Behind The Technology
Marzo is credited as the original creator of the world’s first acoustic tractor beam. Capable of pulling objects toward it via sound waves, previous tractor beams utilized lasers. The application of sound waves is quite innovative, as sound is capable of moving larger objects.
After developing the acoustic tractor beam, Marzo decided to make his work a bit more approachable for the average person. Taking to YouTube, Marzo has outlined a step-by-step process where an acoustic tractor beam can be built. The whole thing can be done using materials that can be purchased online for £70, or a bit more than $100 Canadian.
In an interview with Research Gate, Marzo explained his invention and the process to build it. Marzo points out that a hopeful builder will need some standard skills like smoldering.
Marzo even has plans to further simplify the process. He hopes to make a child-friendly version that students can build at school.
The acoustic tractor beam isn’t just a novel exercise in building electronic devices, either. By using non-invasive sound waves the beam has numerous applications. Removing kidney stones without the need for surgery or transferring precious liquids without the need for a container are some examples. Or, on a far less practical level, rake in an interstellar space cruiser.
How To Build It
But enough about the boring stuff. Take a look at how you can actually build your own functional tractor beam in the YouTube video below. And for anyone wanting to know a bit more behind the technology itself, check out Marzo’s recently published paper on the acoustic tractor beam here.