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Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore to tātou waka e ū ki uta

"Tractor beam" grabs beads with sound waves

29 October 2015

Sound waves.

Engineers in Bristol have developed a system that can grab, hold, and move small objects without touching them, using "holograms" made of sound waves. Prof Bruce Drinkwater from the University of Bristol, one of the study's authors, said the holy grail in this field is to use this sort of manipulation in, for example, targeted drug delivery.

"Our method, we hope, will now be applied, both at a smaller scale – maybe for medical purposes – and at a larger scale, potentially for handling dangerous materials in some sort of non-contact production line."

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Discussion starters

Characteristics of technology Use this and other examples to identify examples where technology has changed people’s sensory perception and/or physical abilities and discuss the potential short- and long-term impacts of these. Level 4 
Technological modelling Use this and other examples to explain how functional modelling and prototyping allows for consideration of both what "can" be done and what "should" be done when making decisions. Level 4 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of panupong1982/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Keywords: tractor beam, characteristics of technology, technological modelling

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