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Hamster Elevator

going up and running fast
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It's actually a human elevator, but I call it hamster elevator so that the concept can be easily understood. A very well balanced and secure elevator that uses as a motor a wheel inside which anyone who wants to use the elevator runs. The wheel is placed inside the cabin. If one wants to go up, that requires running towards the left side of the cabin, while going down requires running towards the right side.

The balance of the elevator is perfectly maintained by springs and counter-weights that instantaneously adjust to the user's weight load and the cabin's velocity is closely monitored in order to detect and react to any hazards. The emergency *I’m dead tired just take me there* button can also come in handy.

<edit> In case of multi-user functionality, I imagine it would be a great team-building tool. I'm starting to wonder if Google would buy it..</edit>

sweet, Mar 26 2007

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       So - kind of like a yoyo, right? But with people inside? Sounds like a terrible faff, but I like it!
Fishrat, Mar 26 2007
  

       Well, not exactly; the person's movement is generating the elevator's movement and not viceversa. So the user is like a hamster, just a little bit more mobile.
sweet, Mar 26 2007
  

       I'd hope that it would have sensors to automatically stop at the pre-selected floors when going down. Btw, gravity would probably move the elevator down enough so that there woud be no need need for people to run the other way.
acurafan07, Mar 26 2007
  

       Does the cage spin when you hit the emergency *I’m dead tired just take me there* button?
nuclear hobo, Mar 26 2007
  

       Addition: the "just take me there" button should also activate a camera. The pictures should be posted in the lobby (and in a local newspaper, perhaps) with an "I waste electricity" caption.
xipetotec, Mar 26 2007
  

       [acurafan], you're terribly wrong. you're missing the whole point. If you enter that elevator cabin, you decide (what preselected floors, btw?) where to go, how fast, etc. while the cabin is always perfectly balanced allowing you to be the only entity making those decisions.
sweet, Mar 26 2007
  

       [xipetotec] - I would rather go for live streaming. Pictures can always be torn to pieces. Even lazy/tired persons can - will do that.
sweet, Mar 26 2007
  

       [nuclear_hobo] you'll have to assume full responsibility of pressing the emergency button.
sweet, Mar 26 2007
  

       You don't get free energy. This device will consume electricity due to maintaining the counter-weights. It will actually consume more energy than a normal elevator because it's more complex and heavier overall.   

       So, while this might be an interesting way to get some exercise, it's not a way to save electricity.   

       If you want a device which saves electricity, then you really need to minimize the mass and air resistance of the elevator itself.
IJK, Mar 26 2007
  

       I agree with [IJK]. It's too bad that I'm "terribly wrong", considering that forcing people to move a (probably too difficult to turn) wheel is much less efficient going down than just letting gravity do what it does best. I would use a bicycle chain and pedals (perhaps first run through a gear reduction to increase torque and therefore pulling power) to pull the thing up, since the elevator user will have much more control and a much easier time. Then, I would use regenerative braking to collect electricity when the brakes are applied going down floors, and use that to power the *I’m dead tired just take me there* button.
acurafan07, Mar 26 2007
  

       Ah, a moving stationary bike! I like it.
IJK, Mar 26 2007
  

       //I would use a bicycle chain and pedals//
I would use the stairs.
methinksnot, Mar 26 2007
  

       //You don't get free energy. This device will consume electricity due to maintaining the counter-weights. It will actually consume more energy than a normal elevator because it's more complex and heavier overall.//   

       Not necessarily true at all. It would take some energy to tweak the weights, yes, but if they are already close, it wouldn't be much, and once perfected, and with good bearings, a small child could easily raise the thing 10 floors. It would practically glide there, since you only need to spend energy overcoming friction.   

       The "getting the weights close" part could be accomplished by means of a simple weight machine-esque pin system. This would be computerized, to prevent people from choosing the wrong weight and plummeting to their deaths, but the only energy required would be that of 1) An electronic scale built into the floor and 2) a little servo motor that pulls a pin out of a stack of counterweights and puts it back in the right place. (or more likely, spins a worm gear until it grips the correct number of weights, or something)   

       My real question is this: Wouldn't we need another hamster wheel at each floor in order to call the car?
Smurfsahoy, Mar 27 2007
  

       Well, [IJK], [Smurfsahoy], since the emergency "i'm dead tired, just take me there" button works, that means that the system already has an independent movement functionality. So the system indeed consumes power especially when "emergency" or hazardous states are involved, and is also able to reach the levels where someone calls.   

       The idea is intended to be an alternative to climbing the stairs and to the clasic elevator systems. The energy saving aspect is not the main purpose.
sweet, Mar 27 2007
  
      
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