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Scientists Have Invented ‘Sonic Screwdriver’ Gauntlets

Doctor Who‘s sonic screwdriver has saved the Doctor countless times, with its ability to pick locks, disarm weapons, scan and classify matter, and somehow perform about a thousand other unrelated functions. But with all that traveling through space and time, it makes sense that the Doctor would need something borderline miraculous.

As for we lowly humans here on Earth, we now have access to a similar tool that’s a bit — no wait, a lot — less multifunctional, but still very cool nonetheless: sonic screwdriver gauntlets.

GauntLev-GIF-05182016The two types of sonic screwdriver gauntlets.

Created by a team of researchers at the University of Bristol in England, the sonic screwdriver gauntlets (or GauntLev) shown in the above video are the most recent iterations in a line of tools that utilize acoustic levitation — the levitation of objects using sound waves.

In the abstract for the research that underpins these sonic gauntlets, published in Nature Communications, the authors note that these particular acoustic levitation tools are unique amongst other similar devices because they “can be employed to translate, rotate and manipulate particles using even a single-sided emitter,” and can also rapidly create “traps” made of sound.

While the sonic gauntlets — as well as the straight-up sonic screwdriver and “ultratongs” — are all only capable of levitating very small objects, plans for the technology are big. This kind of tech could revolutionize the production, assembly, and transportation of delicate or dangerous materials, and its inventors say it could even be used to “grip and transport drug capsules or microsurgical instruments through living tissue…” These gauntlets may soon be a worthwhile addition to a Time Lord’s toolset, even if they can’t get imperiled protagonists out of just about any tight spot imaginable.

What do you think about these sonic screwdriver gauntlets? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: BristolIG


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