Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Make your stairway an escalator, a step at a time
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This inexpensive system, consisting of a small, electrically powered, hydraulic unit and an optional number of lifting steps, can be easily mounted in the home or small business to aid the elderly and infirm. Each lifting step is only one inch high but conceals two scissor-arm, hydraulic lifters that raise the step platform and a 200 kilo load to the next step level, or that lower the platform and load to its original position. Each step has, on its leading edge, a foot-activated button to signal descent and, on its inner edge, a button to signal ascent. The two or more lifting steps, interconnected by data cable and hydraulic hose, are quickly affixed to the steps of present stairs and are utilized as follows:

To ascend, you step onto the bottom lifting step affixed to the floor and press the ascend button. You are gently lifted to the height of the next step. You step onto the next lifting step and the former one, sensing your exit, lowers itself to its original position. You continue… press the button, ascend, step forward and repeat until you reach the top.

To descend, you step onto the highest step which has only a descend button that signals the next lifting step to raise its platform. You step onto this platform and press its descend button causing it to lower you, while signaling the next lower step to rise. You continue… press the button, descend, step forward and repeat until you reach the bottom.

When not button-activated, the Escalifter looks and functions like a normal flight of stairs for use by people without disabilities. The next generation model will incorporate a conveyor belt on each step platform to further ease stairway navigation.

FarmerJohn, Jun 16 2002

(??) Lifts and Platforms http://www.ares.sk/..._stairclimbers.html
One kind of stairlift, already baked and ready to go if you can afford it [polartomato, Jun 16 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

this one should be preserved for ever - particularly the link that came with it... http://www.halfbake...0Track_20Extensions
[po, Jun 16 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

sesame access lift http://www.sesameac....com/technical-info
first link here is a dead link. second's image link is dead too [pashute, Oct 12 2015]

At least Escalifter looks better than this... http://cyberneticzo...We9may73-b-x640.jpg
[pashute, Oct 12 2015]


       This would be really cool to watch in motion. It could become a new sport to get to the top quicker than other people.
You could get whole rows of these set up with the same rise and descend speed, and then it would all depend upon the speed and footwork of the competitors. Or you could of course just have it installed in the houses of the elderly and disabled.
kaz, Jun 16 2002

       See link at left- I think this has already been baked in some form. There are also wheelchair-mounted stairlifts in existence. But I see that you are proposing something more extensive, and less awkward to use, than the existing technology. Croissants for you. This would probably sell well with the lazy and the rich (or a combination of both).
polartomato, Jun 16 2002

       the link on the link is a must-see.
po, Jun 16 2002

       It's a neat idea as I understand it, but I don't see how it's better than an escalator. Do I need enlightenment?
phoenix, Jun 16 2002

       I hold a candle, do you see better now?
po, Jun 16 2002


       Not a bit.
phoenix, Jun 17 2002

       you are holdin' it wrong, phoenix.
po, Jun 17 2002

       A similar device, called the 'man engine', was used in Cornish tin-mines to enable the miners to ascend and descend the shaft. A reciprocating rod running the entire depth of the mine shaft had platforms fixed to it at intervals. To descend, the miners stepped onto the top one, the rod moved down twenty feet or so, the miners stepped onto a fixed platform in the shaft. The rod moved up, the miners stepped onto the next platform, and so on down to the required level.
angel, Jun 17 2002

       For parties, you could take all these "Escalifters" off your stairs and arrange them on your dancefloor.
hippo, Jun 17 2002

       The problem with these inventions: I once spoke with a friend inventor about liability. He told me he knew and actually worked on an invention of someone in Israel who invented a stair climbing wheelchair. A person with disabilities bought one of the first products according to the invention, fell down the steps and was killed. The product was taken off sales, and the man never produced any more of his inventions.
pashute, Oct 12 2015


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