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— Space

Building a space elevator starts with a lunar elevator by 2020

Launching deep space probes is great, but to really explore space and unlock its secrets, it sure would be helpful if getting there were as easy as pressing a button. That's the vision of Liftport, which Gizmag first reported on back in 2012. Now, more than two years after Liftport raised over US$100,000 on Kickstarter, the team is sharing its progress towards creating an elevator from Earth to space, a journey that – interestingly enough – begins on the Moon. Read More
— Architecture

ThyssenKrupp unveils revolutionary multi-directional elevator concept

Elevator design hasn't progressed very much during the past 160 years, and still comprises cabins which move vertically in a shaft supported by cables. This is inefficient and limiting, taking up a relatively large footprint and requiring people to wait a long time for the next lift. However, German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp has unveiled a revolutionary Willy Wonka-style elevator concept that allows several cabins to move both horizontally and vertically in the same elevator shaft, at the same time. Read More
— Architecture

"Going up" at 45 mph: Hitachi to deliver world's fastest elevator

Hitachi has announced that it’s installing the world's fastest ultra-high-speed elevators in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre skyscraper in Guangzhou, China. Making up two out of a total of 95 elevators in the building, the new lifts use a range of technologies to produce record-breaking speeds of 1,200 m/min (that's 44.7 mph, or 72 km/h) while still meeting the necessary standards of safety and comfort according to Hitachi. Read More
— Robotics

FluxCrawler robot inspects steel cables big and small

The important task of inspecting cables on bridges, elevators, ski lifts and cable cars for signs of strain, wear and corrosion is commonly carried out by a device that clasps around the cable and exposes it to a magnetic field, looking for disruptions in the field. The problem is that the diameter of the cables and their jackets can vary considerably, limiting the use of such devices. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing have come up with a one-size-fits-all approach in the form of a robot they’ve dubbed the FluxCrawler. Read More
— Architecture

UltraRope could make kilometer-high elevators possible

As architects continue to design taller and taller buildings, a certain limitation of elevators is going to become more of a problem – using traditional steel lifting cables, they can’t go farther than 500 meters (1,640 ft) in one vertical run. Any higher, and the weight of all the cable required is simply too much. Currently in the world's few buildings that are over 500 meters tall, passengers must transfer from one elevator line to another, part way up. Thanks to a new lightweight material known as UltraRope, however, elevators should now be able to travel up to one kilometer (3,281 ft) continuously. Read More
— Architecture

Porsche Design Tower elevator deposits car and driver inside their luxury apartment

If you consider your car to be a work of art, then you can have it on display it in your living room ... if you live in one of the exclusive oceanfront apartments within Miami's Porsche Design Tower, that is. The Porsche Design brand has branched into architecture, and aims to give a new meaning to the term "drive in" by using three robotic elevators that deliver both the driver and their car right into the home. Read More
— Good Thinking

Mitsubishi develops ultra-high-speed elevator technology

Due to the number of stairs that needed to be climbed to reach the top, buildings of over six storys were a rarity until the 19th century when the development of passenger elevators - along with advances in building materials and techniques - enabled the construction of taller and taller buildings. As skyscrapers continue to reach ever higher, elevators are required to carry more people further, faster. Mitsubishi already has the first problem licked with the development of elevators able to carry 80 people at once. Now it has tackled speed with technologies that enable ultra-high-speed elevators to travel at more than 60 km/h (37 mph or 1,000 meters a minute). Read More