Do you deliberately avoid visiting friends who live in multi-story buildings without an elevator? No one would fault you — having to climb even just a single flight of stairs is like being forced to work out against your will. But thanks to engineers at Georgia Tech and Emory University, stairs might one day do all the hard work for you.
Tagged With elevators
One of the biggest engineering challenges of building a towering skyscraper isn't keeping the structure from falling over, it's moving all the people around inside of it. To improve efficiency, and facilitate the construction of even taller buildings, Germany's ThyssenKrupp has completely redesigned elevators so that they can move sideways now, too.
Video: Kurzgesagt ponders the question of whether space elevators can be built and answers it as only they can. It's fascinating to learn about the (obvious) benefits of having a space elevator — sending things to space becomes much, much cheaper! — but even if it will take forever and a half to build this mythical 36,000km structure (which we can't yet with our current technology), it might be worth it just to better investigate our options for exploring space.
You're in an elevator. An earthquake hits. It's scary. The power goes out, and now you're stuck. And you gotta go, bad. Luckily, Japan is putting emergency toilets in lifts to prevent such nightmares.
When you're building supertalls, there are other problems to worry about than just making sure they don't fall or blow over. One of the biggest is how to get people up to the top in a reasonable amount of time. If you've got a slow elevator the 125th floor might as well not exist.
Jeddah's Kingdom Tower will be taller than any other structure ever built. At more than 1km high, this supertall will require feats of engineering that, until now, have been the stuff of science fiction. Like the world's tallest, longest and fastest lifts — which are being developed in a mine shaft in Finland.
Today, the Japanese tech giant Hitachi announced a contract to build two of the fastest lifts in the world for a forthcoming skyscraper in China. Seems innocuous enough, right? But buried within the press release are a few fascinating details that illustrate how China's skyscraper boom is affecting the global economy — including the fact that it bought a whopping 60 per cent of all lifts sold in 2013.
Smartphones, smartwatches, smart home appliances. Why not smart lifts? That's the question Microsoft asked — and then answered, by putting a Kinect camera in a lift, training it to recognise when people want to get on, and teaching it to open the doors automatically when needed. Smart, indeed.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, but this time it was actually the mother of Canadian inventor Shlomo Shwartz. When he saw her using a stool to grab something from an out-of-reach shelf, he was inspired to come up with a safer solution. And so the Shelevator — a lift for shelves — was born.