Emerging Technologies

Pixie Dust: Graphics Generated by Levitated and Animated Objects in a Computational Acoustic-Potential Field

This novel graphics system is based on expansion of 3D-acoustic-manipulation technology. In the conventional study of acoustic levitation, small objects are trapped in the acoustic beams of standing waves. Here, this method is expanded by changing the distribution of the acoustic-potential field (APF), which generates the graphics using levitated small objects. The system makes available many expressions, such as expression by materials and nondigital appearance.

In the current system, multiple particles are levitated together at 4.25-mm intervals. The spatial resolution of the position is 0.5 mm. Particles move at up to 72 cm/s. The allowable density of the material can be up to 7 g/cm^3. This study used three options for APF: a 2D grid, high-speed movement, and a combination with motion capture. They are used to realize floating-screen or midair raster graphics, midair vector graphics, and interaction with levitated objects.

The relatedTechnical Paper reports the details of the acoustic-potential field generator in the design, control, and performance evaluation, and exploration of the application space. To discuss the various non-contact manipulation technologies in a unified manner, the paper introduces a concept called computational potential field (CPF).

  Download Video

Yoichi Ochiai
The University of Tokyo

Takayuki Hoshi
Nagoya Institute Of Technology

Jun Rekimoto,
University of Tokyo