Home: Staircase
Automatic Blow-Out Staircase of Excitement   (+43, -2)  [vote for, against]
A staircase, made from 'blow-outs'

A 'blow-out' is, I believe the term used for those things children blow at parties which when blown unfurl a long, brightly coloured bit of paper and make a noise.
This idea is simple: When a blow-out is unrolled and the paper tube is full of air it is quite stiff. So a blow-out the size of a stair tread should be able to support the weight of a person. A whole staircase made from huge blow-outs fixed to the side wall (and powered by compressed air) would save a lot of space. Normally the blow-outs would be rolled up, but as you approach the staircase the bottom one would unroll and as you walk up, they would unroll from their rolled-up position on the side wall, and roll back up again behind you.
Some clever gubbins would be needed to predict which blow-out should be unrolled next, and which ones it is safe to roll up. It should also take account of multiple people on the stairs - perhaps one going up and the other going down.
The 'excitement' part of this idea comes from my habit of always running down stairs two at a time. I can just imagine leaping into the void and the blow-out springing out of the wall just in time.
-- hippo, Jul 02 2002

Would they still go 'fweee'?
-- st3f, Jul 02 2002

Yes, I think so. Perhaps each one should be tuned slightly differently.
-- hippo, Jul 02 2002

You could run up in major or minor scales to indicate your mood. (Croissant on the landing)
-- st3f, Jul 02 2002

I can just imagine you leaping into the void and the blow-out not springing out of the wall in time.
-- angel, Jul 02 2002

I've always wanted a staircase that would convert to a slidy slope at a touch of a button (as all the steps retracted) but this is even better. Croissant.
-- pottedstu, Jul 02 2002

This sounds like a lot of fun. It makes me wish my house had staircases.
-- polartomato, Jul 02 2002

[angel] I think you're confusing this idea with the Escalier Automatique d'Eruption de la Mort
-- hippo, Jul 02 2002

Ooh, does it detect and injure Frenchmen?
-- angel, Jul 02 2002

I always wanted a staircase like Magneto's in X-Men (metal plates that fly into place as you need them).
-- DrCurry, Jul 02 2002

you are like a little boy, DrCurry! cancel my appointment for the trepannation, thank you.
-- po, Jul 02 2002

I also have a bad habit of running up stairs, I hope that this can be accounted for.
-- kaz, Jul 02 2002

I've seen something like this in futuristic movies where, rather than metal X-men blades, these force-field neon glowing thingy stairs would pop out, about three at a time, as needed for people needing to climb.
-- polartomato, Jul 02 2002

When i'm in a *real* hurry, i sometimes scamper up stairs on my hands and feet. Would it be able to cope with that? Bonus points if it can quickly retract in between the hands and feet.
-- sadie, Jul 03 2002

What about those of us who enjoy sliding down the stairs on our arses?
-- NickTheGreat, Jul 03 2002

I hate to poo-poo on your parade, but what about high heels? Wouldn't that just screw up the whole stair with holes and such? And liquids, I know my children like to drool a lot, not to mention their horrible dinner/bathroom habits (the oldest is 3). A large enough drink and you could be out of a whole floor of you house.
-- barnzenen, Jul 03 2002

I imagine the blowouts would be made of something sturdier than paper. Something involving kevlar or other exciting materials. They could resist both liquids and heels (as long as they aren't literally stiletto heels; kevlar's not good against blades).
-- wiml, Jul 03 2002

Although I can see such a staircasebeing fun for the whole family, in effect it wouldn't save any space. If you think about it, nothing can occupy the space where the staircase would blow out because I'm sure nobody wants their staircase to pop on a decorative cactus while inflating. I guess the fact that the stair case ins't there all the time would be more pleasing on the eyes, and would thus satisfy a lot of feng-shui fans.
-- Russki99, Jul 04 2002

[wiml] - It would be made from Tyvek, probably
[Russki99] Ah yes, the feng shui aspect of this idea - I haddn't thought of that.
-- hippo, Jul 04 2002

I like it, but will it cope with someone absent minded like me who pauses to try to remember what they are going upstairs for, and then turns to come back down?
-- redpony, Jul 04 2002

The more I think about this one, the more I like it. Could you have different sound effects for different people (eg. raspberry sounds for really heavy people, wolf-whistles for attractive ones)?
-- PeterSilly, Jul 04 2002

Is Russki99 the Siberian cousin of Dare99?
-- yamahito, Jul 04 2002

Something would have to be done for emergency exiting when the power was cut. Let's see... who here has the biggest lungs?
-- RayfordSteele, Jul 04 2002

It does save space; you wont need to build a wall on one side to support the treads. I want one that plays music! There is already technology for musical stairs but it requires a sensor in the opposite wall that these stairs don't need. Would there be a reed of some sort in the each of the blowers? Could they be changed so as to play different things?

I though I was the only one who still went up the stairs on all fours when in a hurry, you find so many of your quirks are shared here a Halfba
-- Lizz612, Apr 18 2003

Have the roll outs deflate after ~7 seconds. There you go, no one can campout on the stairs. However, I don't see the point of having stairs, just have a platform that goes up, down ( diagonaly or verticaly ). (without railings )
-- my-nep, Oct 20 2003

May I recommend two carefully positioned light-sensing points for each stair, causing activation when they are appropriately triggered? One would allow preparatory inflation, the other solidification (ie the first would be at the raised-foot-height of the last stair, and the second would be at the descending-foot-threshold above the next stair in sequence)

Or, how about a version of the raising platform idea that is indeed airpowered like a blowout? This would allow minimum space usage, and maximum hilarity as it inflated and deflated (noisily) for each passenger taking the stairs. It would cut down on the fun-factor a bit though . . .
-- MikeHolio, Oct 20 2003

Futuristic and fun. Knowing my luck, it would go "limp" while I was standing on it (no sexual context implied). What would happen to the rider during a failure? Still think it's a great idea, however.
-- BritUSA, Oct 20 2003

[Russki99] - you could have _inflatable_ decorative cacti that deflate at critical times, thus using space where the stairs are, when the stairs aren't.
-- benjamin, Oct 20 2003

Now why didn't I think of that.
-- st3f, Oct 21 2003

I should have given you this a while ago. +
-- k_sra, Oct 21 2003

Why stop with staircases? I'll have an inflatable front-door please which collapses just as I'm about to enter/exit; an inflatable sunroof on my car to save me having to open it on (rare) sunny days, etc.. I'll draw the line at an inflatable 'companion' though!
-- dobtabulous, Oct 21 2003

Yes, I imagine you leaping out into the void and the tube unrolling just in time to hit you in the side and send you flying into something else.

Check this out: if you had a spiral blow-out staircase, and if they automatically activated, you could throw a ball down into the abyss, and watch it be smacked gently to the bottom. This principle could be further extended to small siblings, chiuaouas, and de-clawed cats!

And they'd have to unroll upside-down to avoid tripping people. He he...

I like it! [+]
-- TahuNuva, Jan 03 2008

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