Demonstration of a piezoelectric motor


#1

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#2

That’s one kind of piezoelectric motor. Another kind is the kind that’s attached to some film scanners, some cameras on Mars, and other places.

If you squeeze a piezoelectric crystal, it makes electricity (y’know, barbecue starters). The reverse is also true: if you apply voltage to a piezoelectric crystal, it will change thickness - but by a tiny amount - shown but not really explained in the video.

If you attach piezoelectric motors to a CCD, you can move the CCD by fixed amounts, to fill in the spaces between the light-gathering sensors on the CCD chip (there’s a lot of real-estate between each sensor where the rest of the circuitry on the CCD is.
See this image:

Assuming the little yellowish square are the actual photon sensors, you can see that they only occupy 1/4 of the surface of the CCD. If, after recording a scene (or scanning a film), you moved the CCD over roughly the width of the sensor and recorded another image, you could combine the two images together and get double the resolution. Likewise if you shifted the CCD up, then over, you could quadruple the resolution - of course, this only works for stationary subjects.

The superb images sent back by the Rover on Mars are from a 1MP CCD camera (which is much, much more robust than higher-resolution CCDs). To get the high resolution images, the camera just reshoots the scene, shifting the CCD over just a smidgen each time, and assembles the final high-res image from the 2, 4, 8, or 16 (more?) images.


#3

If only there was a practical use for hundreds of tiny fingers…


#4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_5,000_Fingers_of_Dr._T


#5

Well, I was thinking Orgasmotron 9000, but your idea is cool, too.


#6

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