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Step by Step Escalation

Stairs that lift you as you walk
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This escalator is made up of individual, hydraulically-powered steps that rise when pressed down (see linked schematic). As you walk forward onto the steps, with each footfall you are lifted to the level of the next step ahead. Though seemingly walking on a level surface, you are continuously elevated.

This escalator works best with single file walkers and then moves as fast or slow as those using it. If you stop, the steps stop (and the riders behind you). With the flick of a switch the escalator can change direction so the raised steps lower with each footfall. Having few moving parts that occupy little space, the moving stairs should be efficient and easily maintained.

FarmerJohn, Feb 20 2005

schematic http://www.geocitie...ie/stepbystep.html?
[FarmerJohn, Feb 20 2005]

Eschalator http://www.etropoli...m/escher/stairs.htm
Just add hydraulics. [ldischler, Feb 20 2005]

[link]






       Understandably novel. Can't see it being suitable for heavy traffic though.   

       Ah hell, I'll just admit I want to spend all day running up and down it. [+]
Cats Whiskers, Feb 20 2005
  

       Nice!. A quick question though [FJ]: Would you rather have a system that required you to step UP to the next step and THEN it moves up. You would halve the number of individual steps required. The only problem might be if you got caught in the middle with a 'seven league boots' scenario.
gnomethang, Feb 20 2005
  

       Fred Astaire could do a nice dance on this.
robinism, Feb 20 2005
  

       [gnomethang] //a system that required you to step UP to the next step and THEN it moves up.// A speedy stairway for the energetic.
FarmerJohn, Feb 20 2005
  

       I’d wrongly guessed from the title that these were Escher stairs, so I was hoping that the hydraulics would conspire to keep one from getting anywhere. But still, after that minor disappointment, I was thinking the scheme was a good one. But then I began to worry. What about the dynamics, I thought, wringing my hands. What would happen if someone tried to run up the stairs, or took two at a time? And what if there were two people on the stairs? Or a whole kindergarten, running down the stairs? Oh my! I imagined the chaotic scene: those poor kids stumbling, falling over each other. Some launched into parabolic trajectories, arms windmilling, mouths emitting pitiful cries—Mommy! Daddy!—before splating onto the landing. And all of this witnessed by their horrified parents. A passing lawyer tears off his coat and rushes in to help, stepping on broken fingers, twisted legs. “Call me!” he says, handing his business card to a distraught woman. The lawyer is excited, you can tell, for he is bringing hope to the needy. “Yes, yes, don’t worry,” he says over the cries and moans, “Farmer John has deep pockets!”
ldischler, Feb 20 2005
  

       Yes, I'm often asked, "Is that a roll of coins in your deep pocket or are you just..."
FarmerJohn, Feb 20 2005
  

       This would be extremely useful for aged and/or handicapped persons. You could even make the treads deep enough to hold a wheelchair.   

       Good for turtles too.
waugsqueke, Feb 20 2005
  

       And wheelchairs?   

       Actually I think you would needs a version with longer steps that rise higher for all manner of small wheeled vehicles.
Cats Whiskers, Feb 20 2005
  

       I like the idea, but this line amuses me the most: [Having few moving parts that occupy little space, the moving stairs should be efficient and easily maintained]   

       I forsee a new trade school springing up, to train technicians for this field.
normzone, Feb 20 2005
  

       I like the wheelchair angle. Level ramps.   
      
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