The gripped object is levitated in the low pressure regions of a non‐audible acoustic field, as shown in the figure on the left. By using arrays of small sound transducers, the distribution of this field, and there by the position and forces acting on the object, can be manipulated with high precision.
The gripper system consists of electromechanical transducers with corresponding power electronics for their excitation, control circuits, as well as a proprietary control software. Optionally, a visual feedback system, including object recognition capabilities, can be used to monitor the gripped object.
The handled object, e.g., a small gearwheel, is picked/placed by the gripper from/onto an acoustically transparent surface (metal grid) as shown in the figure on the right. Sound waves from the lower (blue) and upper(red) half of the gripper overlay each other. Alternatively, objects can be picked/placed from/onto solid surfaces that are acoustically reflective. In this case, only the upper half of the gripper is used while picking and placing.