In a LinkedIn post titled “Animating ropes is way harder than it looks,” Ron Acord, a 3D artist/photographer/videographer for thyssenkrupp Elevator, shared a video clip of ropes in operation. Despite its brevity, the animation clearly shows how such a system works. Acord also captured some lovely images when thyssenkrupp Elevator completed the concrete core of its test tower near Atlanta. Upon completion, it will be the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere at 420 ft. A couple of Acord’s test-tower photos are seen below.
As the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, China has taken numerous steps to try to contain the spread of the disease. Elevators have been one focal point in the country’s efforts. For example, the photos above sent by ELEVATOR WORLD Correspondent Peng Jie show elevator buttons covered with plastic wrap to protect them from twice-daily spraying of disinfectant, plus record sheets on the wall to certify the cleaning has been done. Peng tells us, “We have been affected in work and daily life since January. Schools and universities remain closed, the same with restaurants and most shops. People are advised to stay at home and go out as [little] as possible. Temperatures are measured everywhere.”
The South China Morning Post reports that people are using objects — such as lighters, or even toothpicks — to press elevator buttons. The article notes that some buildings have adopted voice-controlled systems. Giving a nod to “the most innovative solution so far,” the newspaper relates that holographic buttons are in use in at least one elevator in the eastern city of Hefei. Riders simply press the “button” for their floor. The maker of the system, Easpeed, said it has received more than 100 orders for its touchless elevator button system, which sells for about US$2,163.
On a promising note, KOYO Elevator posted on its LinkedIn page the photo below along with a note that its factory in Kunshan, China, has resumed production, adding, “The epidemic in China has been effectively controlled,” and that company leadership “attached great importance to the timely shipment of goods.”
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.