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Hospital Escalator

Platform-sized treads
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This Idea is half-baked mostly because it will take up too much space.

Your average escalator is maybe a meter to a meter- and-a-half wide. You normally stand somewhere on one of "stair step" treads that has that width; in the other dimension the treads are maybe a third of a meter in length.

Now consider an elevator. It generally has a squarish platform that is perhaps two meters on a side.

Let us imagine an escalator where the surface upon which you stand ("platform tread") is about that same size (two meters, squared). We still want a normal HEIGHT difference between one platform-tread and the next, of this escaltor.

In a hospital, sometimes it is important to quickly move a patient from one floor to another, but if an elevator is involved, the orderly has to wait for it to arrive. And then wait for it to empty, before the gurney carrying the patient can enter the elevator.

Here the orderly simply pushes the gurney onto the large-platform escalator; there should just about always be an empty platform available. At worst the gurney will tilt between one platform-tread and the next --but here the gurney would be adjustable (even automatically self- adjusting) to keep the patient level.

Vernon, Apr 21 2013

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       Something morbid and surreal about a hospital escalator, being oversized maybe only enhances that. Seems more like a Kafkaesque meat processsing machine in an industrial slurry factory. Must have something to do with stainless steel serated edges, interlocking teeth, and systematic mechanical process.
rcarty, Apr 21 2013
  

       There's an escalating cost of healthcare joke in there somewhere.   

       You could just about do that in east Asia, as the shopping carts magically stick themselves to the non-stepped escalator. Never seen 'em in Europe.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 21 2013
  

       " In a hospital, sometimes it is important to quickly move a patient from one floor to another, but if an elevator is involved, the orderly has to wait for it to arrive "   

       Not when the hospital has installed my new pneumatic tube system. The orderly simply closes the integral sliding lid on the stretcher and slides it into the pneumatic tube, similar to those used for banks and cash registers, and whoosh - the patient is at the appropriate floor.   

       The inside of the stretcher may require washing after arrival.
normzone, Apr 21 2013
  

       //Never seen 'em in Europe// Common in UK... visit any shopping centre with an underground car park.
xenzag, Apr 21 2013
  

       Really? I need to get out more.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 21 2013
  

       //Really? I need to get out more.// You need to check first with the people who are already out.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2013
  

       But, if I don't go out, how can I check with the people who are out?   

       Look, I am not going to be yelling out of the window all day questions on what may or may not now exist, just on the off chance.   

       Anyway, I have four months left on this lease of Plato's cave.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 21 2013
  

       The solution to the hospital vertical transportation problem is, as with so many things in life, the reintroduction of the paternoster lift. No waiting, and you get that frisson of excitement as well as immediate vertical translocation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2013
  

       If you build a self-leveling gurney, then just make it capable of handling a large difference and push that onto a standard escalator.   

       With your large-treaded escalator, the trick is just to ensure that you get the timing right pushing the gurney onto the step. That can be accomplished by moving projection on the floor as you approach the escalator.   

       If you're worried about space, the space requirements could be reduced significantly by making the vertical step size scale with the horizontal step size. Considering the large drop betwen steps, you might want some kind up pop-up safety rail betwen "steps".
scad mientist, Apr 22 2013
  

       //... making the vertical step size scale with the horizontal step size.// - a trend which asymptotes towards paternosterocity. Escalators may be the way forward, but paternosters are the way up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 22 2013
  
      
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