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Levitation

Acoustic levitators are already pretty intriguing devices, in that they use opposing sound waves to suspend small objects in mid-air. Now, however, scientists from Brazil's University of São Paulo have created what they claim is a better acoustic levitator. It's less fussy about the exact orientation of its components, making it more feasible for use in practical applications. Read More

Need something to place alongside your levitating Bluetooth speaker? Or just sick of utilitarian lighting solutions anchored down by ghastly wires and fittings? It looks like progress in magnetic levitation, wireless charging and a particular product designer's brain have come together to save the day. Flyte is a globe that hovers freely above its base, offering a unique way to light up a room. Read More

A new transmission device that uses magnetic levitation to almost completely eliminate friction and wear has been developed as part of the MAGDRIVE research project, a collaboration of seven European nations we looked at back in 2010. The creation of the unit entailed the development of a magnetic gear reducer and corresponding frictionless magnetic axles. Aimed primarily for use in spacecraft due to its extended mechanical life, the system is also adaptable for use in automobiles, railways, and aircraft. Read More
Using a technique that has possible applications in acoustic cloaking, sonic levitation, ultrasonic imaging, and particle manipulation, scientists at the University of California Berkeley claim to have produced a "bottle" beam of acoustic energy in open air that can precisely redirect sound waves. Able to bend these waves along set trajectories without the need for waveguides or other mechanical assistance, the bottle beam is also able to flow around objects in its path while maintaining its shape. Read More
With the exception of magic, the process of levitating objects generally relies on magnetism or electric fields. However, sound waves can also be used to cancel out the effects of gravity to suspend objects and droplets of liquid in mid air. For the first time, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) have been able to control the movement of such levitating objects. Besides looking cool, the technology has implications for the study of various chemical reactions and biological processes and the development and production of pharmaceuticals and electronics. Read More

A Czech design studio is readying a levitating computer mouse for release that's been created to help prevent Carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that can strike musicians, assembly-line workers, typists and computer users (to name a few). Read More

In a new development which on first glance resembles a storyline plucked from the pages of Harry Potter, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, have adopted a system of levitation in order to more effectively develop pharmaceuticals - no magic wand required. Read More
The inclusion of a floating lamp, bed or just about any appropriately-sized household object in a room is almost certain to be received with open-mouthed wonder and demand closer inspection from the curious minds of young and old alike. Add the wireless transfer of power into the mix and you're guaranteed to have a winner. Such is the case with 18 year-old Chris Rieger's LevLight. It's not exactly huge, doesn't break any new ground in a technical sense and is more functional than flashy. Nevertheless, the floating LED is quite the visual feast. Read More
November 19, 2005 There’s a time and a place to feel confident and on top of the game, and sometimes the things around us can help us feel grounded, comfortable and empowered. When you’re next in your office and doing serious business, imagine yourself seated on this comic-book inspired throne – the chair weighs lots, but thanks to a having a hovercraft style levitation system, the 200 pound chair can be moved around to suit your moods. The objective behind Marijn van der Poll's “Chairman” was to “give today’s CEO the ultimate corporate seating object with special powers.” http://www.marijnvanderpoll.com/ And that’s when you’re sitting still. When you turn on the seat, you can take full advantage of the weightlessness to ride around the room – it’s your own personal amusement park ride too. Watch the video here. Read More