Now real: 'Doctor Who' sonic screwdriver, 'Star Trek' tricorder

Good news for geeks. Scottish scientists come up with a gadget Doctor Who would use, while a Canadian boffin develops a working tricorder-like device.

Doctor Who, Star Trek
IDW Comics

Scientists have boldly gone where no one has gone before this week -- while shouting "Geronimo!" probably. Separate teams have developed working gadgets similar to Doctor Who's sonic screwdriver and the tricorder seen in "Star Trek."

Boffins at the University of Dundee in Scotland have developed an ultrasound array that can lift a 10cm (3.9-inch) rubber disk and spin it around without touching it, a bit like the Doctor's famous sonic screwdriver. Or to be more precise, they used a 1,000-element ultrasound transducer array to create an ultrasound vortex beam shaped of intertwined helixes to exert torque on the 3.2-ounce disk.

And open any door, we're guessing. Unless it's wood.

Read more of " Doctor Who sonic screwdriver and Star Trek tricorder are real " at Crave UK.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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