Levitation may seem like magic. However, for some objects, under certain conditions, it is actually a solved technology. If you want to move small particles or do ultrasonic tactile feedback experiments, You may find that SonicSurface is a useful experimental platform.
Build from us [UpnaLab], And it is no small engineering feat. It contains 256 ultrasonic transmitters in a 16×16 grid, and the entire panel has individual phase control. This allows complex ultrasonic fields to be generated on the SonicSurface board. Two boards can also be paired together in a vertically opposite configuration. This allows tiny particles to float in 3D space.
As you might expect, FPGAs were put into use to handle the heavy workload—in this case, Altera CoreEP4CE6. Commands are sent from the connected PC to SonicSurface via a USB to serial connection.
The board is mainly limited to suspending small spherical foams, which are suspended in mid-air by an ultrasonic field. However, the project video shows how to connect these tiny pieces of foam to wires, tape, and other objects in order to manipulate them with an ultrasonic array.
This may not be a simple project, but it can be used as an important basis for your own levitation experiments. Of course, if you want to start small, that’s okay. If you come up with any major levitation breakthroughs of your own, be sure to let us know.