The device, designed by physicists at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, can shift nanoparticles from one end of a lab bench to the other - 150 centimetres away - using nothing more than a couple of laser beams.
If that sounds far-fetched, a quick hunt through the New Scientist story archive shows that similar technology has been with us for some time - although confined to two dimensions.
Optical tweezers rely on variation in the intensity of light within a laser beam to pull small objects into their centre. The tweezers are surprisingly strong: in 2008, one "tractor beam" was used to test the intrinsic strength of protein molecules by pulling at each end until the structure ripped in two.
But these tractor beams can simply pull tiny objects around in a two-dimensional plane. The ANU device works in three dimensions. A hollow laser beam traps objects in its core because the surrounding tube of bright light heats the air, creating an impenetrable high temperature barrier. Some of the light from the beam trickles into the dark core, however, where it can heat the exposed side of the nanoparticle and push it along the beam away from the laser.
Yes... Yes I like this
Now, all we need is an implant that can enable Telekensis and we're good!