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
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
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

Israeli startup DigiGage has created a display system for elevators that shows images and information moving along with viewers as they go up or down. The system is already being used in several countries, including the US and China. Read More

Ethan Schlussler, 22, from Sandpoint, Idaho has built his very own human powered elevator as a means to gain access to his recently constructed treehouse. Schlussler came up with the idea of converting an old bicycle and pulley system into an elevator when he was searching for a faster alternative to using a ladder to get up to his 28 foot (8.5 meter) high abode. Read More
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
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
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
A Japanese company is looking to take elevators to new heights. The Daily Yomiuri reports that Tokyo-based construction company Obayashi Corp. hopes to have a space elevator operational by 2050, carrying passengers and cargo in a vehicle that travels along a ribbon made of carbon nanotubes extending a quarter of the way to the moon. Read More
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