Self-running and self-floating two-dimensional actuator using near-field acoustic levitation.
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Non-contact actuators are promising technologies in metrology, machine-tools, and hovercars, but have been suffering from low energy efficiency, complex design, and low controllability. Here we report a new design of a self-running and self-floating actuator capable of twodimensional motion with an unlimited travel range. The proposed design exploits near-field acoustic levitation for heavy object lifting, and coupled resonant vibration for generation of acoustic streaming for non-contact motion in designated directions. The device utilizes resonant vibration of the structure for high energy efficiency, and adopts a single piezo element to achieve both levitation and non-contact motion for a compact and simple design. Experiments demonstrate that the proposed actuator can reach a 1.65 cm/s or faster moving speed and is capable of transporting a total weight of 80 g under 1.2 W power consumption.