back to article Boffins bork motion control gear with the power of applied sound

A group of university researchers have developed a way to remotely control motion-sensing devices using only sound waves. The study [PDF], authored by Yazhou Tu and Xiali Hei of University of Louisiana Lafayette, Zhiqiang Lin of Ohio State University, and Insup Lee of University of Pennsylvania, found that embedded sensors and …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    There are limitations to the attacks

    No shit, Sherlock.

    As in, you'd have to set up your emitters in the vicinity of the intended victim. Good luck trying that inconspicuously in public.

    Then you need to have an eyeball on what the intended victim is doing, in order to manipulate at the right time. Good luck doing that if said victim lives on the 3rd floor.

    As a theoretical exercise, this is somewhat interesting, but as a threat I really do not see how it can possibly be deployed.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: There are limitations to the attacks

      Limitations, yes. But it does sound as if, with some extra work, there is the possibility here of something really, really useful - a drone scrambler. And much less legally dodgy than a shotgun.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: There are limitations to the attacks

        But since most drones like that are moving, trying to shake them to pieces with acoustic resonance runs afoul of the Doppler Effect. It would require constant shifting of the sonic frequency to counteract the Doppler Effect, and that's going to call for additional hardware like a RADAR or LIDAR speed gun.

    2. Phlogistan

      Re: There are limitations to the attacks

      As drewsup opined down further in the comments the Real World Attack Vector could be quite applicable.

      Imagine some fellow who regularly uses his segway to travel from point A to point B. The attacker sets up an ambush and drives the unwitting fellow into traffic, or off an elevation or.... any number of things. It would appear to anyone involved that it was the result of operator error.

      I do not put ANYTHING past antifa or Russian trolls.

      "Accidently" driving oneself off a cliff sounds like a pretty useful deployment of an attack to me.

      Just My Opinion. I Could Be Wrong.


  2. TRT Silver badge

    Gyroscopic screwdrivers?

    That are affected by sound? So you need to counteract the resonant attack with an inverted, negating pressure wave. Basically a sonic screwdriver.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Gyroscopic screwdrivers?

      Having only just googled what they are am I the only one who thinks they are a solution looking for a problem and also a potential RSI nightmare?

      They are basically screw drivers that are activated by a twisting motion rather than a trigger.

  3. Elmer Phud

    Why takeover?

    Jamming such devices could prove more fruitful with military tech

  4. pauleverett


    sounds like a good find. Perhaps more useful than a "shocking & dangerous threat to VR as we know it"

  5. drewsup


    Can we set some speaker up under the aisle shelves at the local supermarket so the next time some little shyte decides to hoverboard through the store, he gets the equivalent of rice under the old skateboard wheels trick

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