Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Regenerative stairs

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The button on the top of a biro or ballpoint pen is a toggle - you push it in and some of the energy of this action is stored in the spring and released when you next push the button.

This idea is to have a staircase made up of stair treads which incorporate this action. So, as you run downstairs you push in each stair tread and then, when you go back upstairs each step gives you a little boost of energy, propelling you more easily up the stairs.

Obviously, you mustn't have two people, one going down the stairs after the other - that would end in disaster, as would running down the stairs hitting alternate steps, and then going up using every step.
hippo, Feb 21 2011


       how about one sumo wrestler going down the stairs and then one small child trying to go up, might there not be some catapult effect?
not_morrison_rm, Feb 21 2011

       You wouldn't really gain anything. Walking upstairs would become easier, but walking downstairs would become harder by an equal amount.   

       Actually, overall it would take more energy to use the device, due to mechanical friction losses.
AntiQuark, Feb 21 2011

       // Different, but not harder in terms of work done. //   

       Yeah, my mistake. As the escalator descends due to your weight, it could be charging a battery with a generator. Then that battery charge could be used later, when you're walking up, to give the escalator a bit of a push.
AntiQuark, Feb 21 2011

       If it regenerates stares then it should take a picture of you from beneath.
rcarty, Feb 21 2011

       If you had a sumo wrestler and a child, a catapult would be more fun than stairs.
RayfordSteele, Feb 21 2011


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