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Passive Delevators

Personal powerless escape device.
  [vote for,

I have recently sat through a painfully boring lecture involving fire safety. One of the few interesting comments anyone had was that buildings designed to house old people should not be built tall. Thinking about this, I realized how terrifying it must be for someone physically weak or wheelchair-bound to be on the 58th floor during a fire. You'd pretty much have to hope for a strong good samaritan to come along.

This idea is for a chair with wheels which are designed to fit into a track. The track spirals like a narrow staircase down to the ground floor. The axle of each wheel has been designed to have a maximum speed of rotation, allowing for perhaps 2 mph motion (or some speed that is somewhat fast, yet safe). Each floor has a straight section for chair entry. Chairs are horizontally stackable (a bit like shopping carts), so perhaps 50 can be placed next to the track.

In an emergency, the weak or walkless climbs into a chair, fastens a seatbelt, and holds onto handles. They are slowly rolled down the building at a safe yet mildly quick speed.

Worldgineer, Apr 01 2004

The IBOT http://www.dynopowe...epages/newchair.htm
Though I'm not sure it'll go down as fast as proposed invention [theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       Immediately to be modified as an extreme sport, and shown on MTV.
normzone, Apr 01 2004

       Just realized you could generate electricity at the same time - useful for headlights or to play some nice relaxing music on the ride down.
Worldgineer, Apr 01 2004

       Chair lifts exist. This is a stair lift that only goes downstairs?
jutta, Apr 01 2004

       Similar, yes. But this isn't powered and therefore useful in exiting a building during an emergency.   

       Are you saying that stair lifts are appropriate for exiting highrise buildings?
Worldgineer, Apr 01 2004

       Yes, I thought about the problem of quadriplegics and other more physically limited residents but did not address it because I don't have enough wheelchair knowledge. If a hoist system will help, I like it.
Worldgineer, Apr 01 2004

       Instead of a clip track ramp or something, you could just have a plain ramp, which would serve in lieu of stairs. The floor of the ramp would be sticky, slowing the rate of wheeled chairs moving over it. The stickiness could be achieved by having the ramp double as movie theater seating after hours.
bungston, Apr 01 2004

       I like that idea, but it would likely need too much space.
Worldgineer, Apr 01 2004

       I think I'd go with Kamen's invention, and eliminate all the money spent on ramps as well
theircompetitor, Apr 01 2004

       I recall a demonstration being quite slow - plus you're relying on batteries. You'd need a lot of juice to get down a hundred or so flights of stairs.
Worldgineer, Apr 01 2004

       hmm, good point.
theircompetitor, Apr 01 2004

       One way to keep the speed down is by using the electromagnetic braking effect.
A magnet could act on a steel rail, and generate current in the rail (Flemings right hand rule). If the rail is designed to internally short out the current, then the energy is dissipated as heat.
Ling, Apr 01 2004

       So essentially it's a wheelchair ramp for a 50-story building? How much space would that take, and when do I get a ride?   

       [bungston\, your sticky floor would capture every dirt particle within a 3-square mile radius.
RayfordSteele, Apr 01 2004

       I'm thinking about 1/2 as much floorspace as stairs. You can have a fairly steep grade and don't need 2-way traffic. Perhaps a 10' radius, with a bit extra for the straight section and loading/storage area at each floor.   

       Riding one triggers an alarm, but I'll disable it once for you [Ray].
Worldgineer, Apr 02 2004

       Shouldn't this be called a Passive De-elevator, or something?
oxen crossing, Apr 03 2004

       You're right. I like "Passive Delevators" but delevate isn't a word. It should be. I think I'll make it a word.   

       I hereby define delevate as a transitive verb meaning to bring back down, a decrease in elevation.   

       Title change. Was: "Passive Elevators".
Worldgineer, Apr 03 2004

       I think the word you're looking for is "relegate".   

       How do people get on it? If I'm on the 4th floor, do I have to wait for the traffic from above floors to pass? Can I use my existing wheelchair or do I have to use your special chair with rotation-max wheels? If so, where are those chairs kept? What if there aren't enough of them on my floor?
waugsqueke, Apr 03 2004

       So many questions. I'll do my best.   

       //How do people get on it? If I'm on the 4th floor, do I have to wait for the traffic from above floors to pass?// Yes. The chairs are only going about 2 mph, so if you misjudge and enter too early/late, collisions shouldn't cause injury. It also wouldn't be difficult to design in an interlock to keep your wheelchair from rolling at the wrong time.   

       //Can I use my existing wheelchair or do I have to use your special chair with rotation-max wheels?// I hadn't envisioned a universal attachment for wheelchairs, but this is possible. Perhaps a platform that you roll onto, then strap your wheelchair into?   

       //If so, where are those chairs kept? What if there aren't enough of them on my floor?// They are kept next to the ramp on each floor. They are horizontally stackable like shopping carts, so shouldn't take up too much room. If there aren't enough then you're in the same terrible position you'd be in without a ramp - hoping for a fire fighter's arrival.
Worldgineer, Apr 03 2004

       If recessed between the tracks
resides a water slide,
the egress rate increases.
Everyone can ride.
half, Apr 03 2004

       Or even one of those inflatable ramps they have on planes, for the top floors of relatively short buildings.
RayfordSteele, Apr 03 2004

       Waterslide fire escapes. Now you're on to something.   

       "We're sorry, the waterslide is closed. We had to devert all of that water into fighting the fire..."
RayfordSteele, Apr 04 2004

       I like the waterslide suggestion too. Let's start building 'em now ... maybe by the time I retire and need to be put in a home, I can actually look forward to it ... Oh, boy, what fun ...
fasteddy, Apr 04 2004


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