Robotics in Building

LeviPrint: Building Things with Sound Waves

Did you hear about this new device sweeping the internet? 

Just when we thought we’d entered an AI-dominated future of destruction and chaos, scientists have graced us with an invention for the greater good: LeviPrint. 

Innovative, extraordinary, and very cool. 

The LeviPrint is a robot arm that uses highly concentrated sound waves to levitate objects and build structures. Oh, and there’s proof of this magic on YouTube. So far, the device has been used to build small structures with floating components, and if used correctly this will be a big development for science and tech. But the bridge of who gets their hands on it first is yet to be crossed.

Robotic Robot

LeviPrint was invented by scientist Asier Marzo, Researcher at the Public University of Navarre, Spain and his team. They are apparently the first to make a prototype that combines the maneuvering of objects and sound to perform contactless manufacturing. An excerpt from the publication of Marzo’s patented device, in his own words, tells us that: 

‘LeviPrint is a system for assembling objects in a contactless manner using acoustic levitation. We explore a set of optimum acoustic fields that enables full trapping in position and orientation of elongated objects such as sticks. We then evaluate the capabilities of different ultrasonic levitators to dynamically manipulate these elongated objects.’ 

acoustic levitation

In layman’s terms, Marzo and co. have so far tested highly concentrated soundwaves on small objects, including 8cm sticks of balsa wood. LeviPrint functions similarly to a 3D printer, but it generates fields with sound waves of 40 kilohertz that trap and reorient small particles, elements and glue or resin. 

The best thing about this incredible and unprecedented invention is that sound waves can move through water and the human body; it’s mind blowing how many people didn’t know that until now. There is ample possibility, most importantly an historical pivot in how we do medical procedures. The device could also become a household gadget that we use to do our chores – look at how far we’ve come from the very first computer!

The only snag is that construction workers may eventually be out of the job, and a new wave of unemployment is the last thing we need. What it would take for LeviPrint to move large objects (let alone tiny wooden sticks), is still unknown, and it could take decades for it to reach that level, but this prototype seemingly just appeared before our eyes. Who knows what else is in the making after this? And what about the accessibility? There could be political and economic implications too, the extent of which is hard to tell in the early days. LeviPrint does come with some hard questions, but right now we’re excited for the future. We can definitely look on the bright side with this huge leap.

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