A tractor beam could be the future of containing oil slicks. That’s according to professors at Australian National University (ANU) who have shown off a prototype that moves objects floating on the surface of water independently of waves.
The group’s advanced particle tracking tools were able to move a ping-pong ball in a wave tank in a range of directions, or keep it entirely still. The technology uses simple wave generators which could be scaled to tackle more serious problems in the ocean, such as collecting floating objects, moving small boats or containing oil slicks, so says ANU professor Michael Shats.
Thumbnail image via Chris Wilkins / AFP / Getty Images