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Sky Pendula

Sideways elevator for highrise buildings.
  [vote for,

Traveling laterally in a city isn't any fun. You generally need to take an elevator to ground level, wait through lights and traffic to cross the street a few times, then take another elevator back up. There are currently skyways between some buildings to ease this pain, but these are generally limited to buildings that are very close together for structural reasons.

A sky pendulum would be a box similar to a glass elevator, except mounted on a pole many stories above the ground. The base of the pole is mounted at the center of a street or park, and consists of springs and linear motors or magnets. At the point of contact between the sky pendulum and a building is a large spring or soft material to deaden any impact from lateral forces not taken care of at the pole's base.

Sky pendula operate very much like an elevator, in that you walk in and press a button. How it differs from an elevator is that the button starts the motor/magnet at the base of the pole, which swings the sky pendulum to an adjacent building.

I picture having these installed throughout a city. Simple systems would have, say, 8th floor lobbies with shopping that you walk past on your way through a building. More complex systems would remove elevators all together and include telescoping pendula.

(Pendula used as a plurl of pendulum in an act of grammatical protest.)

Worldgineer, Dec 17 2007

Ferris Lift Ferris_20Lift
Same idea, unbounded. [phoenix, Dec 18 2007]

Beam Me Up Beam_20Me_20Up
Same idea, also unbounded (though building specific). [phoenix, Dec 18 2007]

Swing Low City Chariot Swing_20Low_20City_20Chariot
kind of similar [xaviergisz, Dec 18 2007]


       And, like pudenda, this should be symmetrical.   

       You'll need to pull the cars from building to building with cables, rather than leveraging the pole from the bottom. The cables will pull the cars into their docks, which'd be very hard to do whilst guided from the bottom, unless you use two poles. Three poles of varying length would be a more workable system--though still wobbly.
baconbrain, Dec 18 2007

       I understand the problem, but need more info on your solution. It sounds like you are putting a motor at the bottom of a 30 story tall inverted pendulum and using it to move a laterator (BS word I just invented though for all I know it is a real word "lateral" + "elevator" = "laterator"). The problem is moment arm. Especially in reaction to wind. Also the support arm would be very expensive.
MisterQED, Dec 18 2007

       No need for pendula.   

       Putting pedestrian bridges between skyscrapers all around the city would make it a nice web. Fun, and more structurally sound in storms, attacks, etc.
sophocles, Dec 18 2007

       //pedestrian bridges between skyscrapers //   

       <too lazy to find links>
This was extensively baked in UK housing estates (US - housing projects), and now deprecated on the grounds that the walkways contribute to crime by providing easier access and plentiful escape routes for thieves and vandals.

       [+] for the idea, mostly on grammatical grounds.
pertinax, Dec 18 2007

       I thought of cables, but you'd really increase the lateral force on buildings using such a system. Of course, if you combined many buildings in this manner and added guy wires at perimeter buildings, this would be solved. But such a system would be set up for catastrophic failure (one building goes and they all do).   

       I know that there will be quite a moment arm at the base of the pole, but that's part of the fun. I'm picturing the things bending back and forth like a fly fishing pole. You'd need some good computer control to keep the laterators (love it) from smacking into the buildings at high speed.
Worldgineer, Dec 18 2007

       // Fun, and more structurally sound in storms, attacks, etc. //   

       Might make for good emergency exits, but 'more structurally sound' is not something you really want. Buildings should be designed to move a little.
RayfordSteele, Dec 19 2007


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