It’s always exciting to see science following in the footsteps of science fiction and this is no exception. But, I have to admit, I almost1 lost my mind when I read this post announcing that scientists at the University of Dundee have invented what they are actually referring to as a sonic screwdriver that actually moves physical objects remotely by use of sonic waves.2 Here’s a short video of it in action, levitating an object.
Doctor Who and his trusty tool, the sonic screwdriver, have been a staple of science fiction since it’s arrival in 1963. The sonic screwdriver, a harmless non-lethal tool/deterrent, is the perfect accessory for Doctor Who, a show that emphasizes the positive aspects of science fiction, intellect and romance, over brute force and cynicism. 3
Now, if the real-life sonic screwdriver is still a little too early in it’s development for you, do not be discouraged. Travis Goodspeed has been working on an open source project called a GoodFET – referred to as a “the sonic screwdriver of reverse engineering.” And, with a little 3D printing help, you can even create an awesome sonic screwdriver enclosure for it!
- Photo courtesy of Spielbrick Films
- I’m sorry. That video is just too catchy and too perfect a short synopsis of the show to not post.