Escalator Invention in the Running for LEGO League Championship

A recent article from Louisville, Kentucky’s WAVE 3 News is about a sharp team of fourth- through sixth-grade students in a local robotics program who aim to make escalators more accessible to those who can’t see well. The Good Vibrations invention uses a transducer to produce vibrations on escalator steps so riders can feel where they are.

Portland Christian School’s first LEGO League team “is causing a stir in the robotics world,” the source says. 11-year-old programmer Lydia Kratt inspired her five fellow members to help those like a friend of hers with disabilities overcome fears of escalators. They’re in the process of patenting the device for such public places as churches, airports and malls. They ranked third of 49 teams across Kentucky, earning an invitation to the national competitions. They also won first place for a LEGO League Global Innovation award, which recognizes the best project ideas most likely to be implemented.

The sight impaired traditionally use elevators for vertical transportation, where Braille is common. Is it a great idea for them to use escalators, too? Check out the video included in the link above to see how the device works and what the inventors have to say about it.

Band’s “Elevator Sessions” Spread Smiles in San Francisco

Beleaguered, achy and sweaty after holiday shopping, imagine you step into an elevator and encounter a five-piece bluegrass band belting out an upbeat, rocking rendition of the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby. That’s exactly what happened to shoppers in a San Francisco Macy’s recently, courtesy of local band The Brothers Comatose, consisting of brothers Ben and Alex Morrison, who play guitar and banjo, respectively, rounded out by a trio of gents on bass, violin and mandolin. The spectacle is part of the group’s Elevator Sessions series, in which they surprise riders with impromptu performances. These “brothers” are the antithesis and comatose, smiling and interacting with riders and they masterfully harmonize. It’s clear the band members were thrilled to help spread smiles during the sometimes stressful holiday season. They even stopped to pose with Santa. Check out their Eleanor Rigby cover below!

Who Says VT Can’t Bring a Smile to Your Face?

Homer Simpson of “The Simpsons” fame is known to love doughnuts. As website designplayground.it found, you never know where Homer will pop up to add a chuckle to your day.

Vertical transportation (VT) is all about traveling through a building in a safe, efficient way. We all know that. Nothing exciting about it, is there? But, it doesn’t have to be boring. Website designplayground.it found plenty of examples of creative advertising or artwork incorporated into elevators and escalators. After looking through these, maybe your next elevator ride will inspire you to tap your inner artist.