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Transportation EU Idle

New Maglev Elevator Can Travel Horizontally, Vertically, and Diagonally (wired.co.uk) 213

An elevator that can move in any direction has been successfully tested by a German company named ThyssenKrupp. An anonymous reader quotes Wired UK: The Multi is the first ropeless lift, built using the same magnetic levitation technology used in Japan's bullet train and proposed for the Hyperloop. In the same way the train slides along a track horizontally, the lift travels both vertically, horizontally and diagonally around a building riding an electromagnetic field, a system known as a linear drive. "If you can run a 500-tonne train on magnets at 500km/h you should be able to elevate a cabin of 500 kilograms or 1,000 kilograms at a speed of five metres per second," [ThyssenKrupp CEO Andreas] Schierenbeck said.
The elevator can cost 3 to 5 times more than a regular elevator -- but can handle higher buildings than a conventional elevator.
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New Maglev Elevator Can Travel Horizontally, Vertically, and Diagonally

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  • Turbolift (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2017 @03:43AM (#54689933)

    Next week on slashdot: phased energy weapons to be made available to security forces worldwide

    Bit by bit, we're catching up with Star Wars technology.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2017 @03:48AM (#54689937)

    That's like saying an American company named General Electric.

    • When Japan was enamored with huge American companies in the 1960s, they created companies like Ordinary Oil, Common Motors. Well, they learned quickly it is not very wise to use a thesaurus with imperfect understanding to name conglomerates ....
    • by uradu ( 10768 )

      Yeah, I immediately thought this must either have been written by a serious ignoramus, or someone with a beef with Germany in general. Using the Japanese "bullet train" (which isn't maglev) or the mostly vaporware Hyperloop as examples of maglev, instead of the German Transrapid, which is in fact still the only production maglev train in the world is pretty pathetic.

  • Wonkavator (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    NT

  • by TigerPlish ( 174064 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @04:01AM (#54689959)

    Capt Kirk, Capt. James T. Kirk, you're wanted at Turbolift 1.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2017 @04:25AM (#54690009)

    Wait, what? Elon Musk isn't involved? But.......how is that even possible? Everyone knows Musk is the world's only living inventor!

  • by uohcicds ( 472888 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @04:35AM (#54690033) Homepage

    The WONKAVATOR

    PLEASE.

  • They should call it a Turbolift. Yes, as in Star Trek. Just don't give it an AI, please.

  • Top-down design (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SkyratesPlayer ( 1320895 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @05:13AM (#54690099)
    One way to think about elevators and high-rises is to start from the top. The uppermost part is a little building that only needs one elevator. As you add floors on the bottom they need more shafts so that you can fill and empty the building in a reasonable time. With conventional elevators, there is only one per shaft. (Although it can be more than one floor high.) At some point the next bottom floor you add will be all elevator shafts and unless you think you can make money from a more scenic view from the top, you stop. With this tech the elevators become cars on a vertical railway and can take on passengers without blocking shafts. Big gain.
    • by judoguy ( 534886 )

      With this tech the elevators become cars on a vertical railway and can take on passengers without blocking shafts. Big gain.

      If you don't mind having to get off at one floor to transfer to another lift to get to the top floor since I doubt the system would allow the bottom car to go to the top floor unless you used that sideways feature to shunt cars out of the way.

      • That's the point - you CAN shunt cars out of the way. Or, like a train system, you can use multiple shafts as local and express in each direction - and UNLIKE a train system, more like the phone system, you can dynamically reallocate which shaft is being used for what as usage changes during the day. The flexibility is what it's all about. Depends how long the track switch takes, of course, Your example of "get off at one floor to transfer to another lift" doesn't need to happen any more; a big office bu
  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @05:13AM (#54690101)
    On a 50 floor building an elevator 4'x6' will have a shaft a little larger plus a 10' waiting area in front of it, so say 15x8 or 120 feet square x 50 floors gives 6000 square feet. Times $1000 per square foot for grade A office space and your elevator is now taking up $6 million dollars worth of floor space.
    • On a 50 floor building an elevator 4'x6' will have a shaft a little larger plus a 10' waiting area in front of it, so say 15x8 or 120 feet square x 50 floors gives 6000 square feet. Times $1000 per square foot for grade A office space and your elevator is now taking up $6 million dollars worth of floor space.

      From TFS:

      "The elevator can cost 3 to 5 times more than a regular elevator -- but can handle higher buildings than a conventional elevator."

      Ever consider the millions wasted per year in business efficiency with a building full of employees who are forced to walk due to traditional designs?

      The efficiency gains also include traditional vertical movement too, since maglev speeds are likely going to only be restricted by human capability. I for one, vote for an elevator ride from the 75th floor that includes a free-fall mode to simulate weightlessness for a few seconds, with careful deceleration. Would be one hell of an attraction to w

      • I for one, vote for an elevator ride from the 75th floor that includes a free-fall mode to simulate weightlessness for a few seconds, with careful deceleration. Would be one hell of an attraction to work there.

        Especially fun when you bring down a cart full of anvils with you.

        • You'd want to hack the elevator, get it going maximum speed up at the start of the free fall period, for maximum duration.

          Still wouldn't be long enough for sex. Maybe a set of elastic trapeze like position restraints, a deep, soft landing surface and a 'bounce hack'. If you could overpower the motors, get it to 30m/sec up. That's six seconds of zero-G per cycle. Getting crushed by 2 Gs, about half time, would have be worked into the rhythm. Extreme care would be needed, focus too.

    • by Wdi ( 142463 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @08:09AM (#54690527)

      Was not even mentioned in the summary. You can run multiple cabins in the same shaft, saving precious floor space (and move the cabins horizontally if they need to pass each other, or you can just assign up and down shafts). Thus, for larger buildings this type of elevator can actually be a major cost saver.

      • Was not even mentioned in the summary. You can run multiple cabins in the same shaft, saving precious floor space (and move the cabins horizontally if they need to pass each other, or you can just assign up and down shafts). Thus, for larger buildings this type of elevator can actually be a major cost saver.

        Just assigning up and down shafts would lose another important feature: the ability to load an elevator car at one floor and send it directly to the destination floor with no stops. That not only minimizes wait time for the people in the car, but also minimizes the time until the car is available again, increasing throughput.

        Ideally, the elevator system needs to know how many people are waiting at each floor, and their destination floors. I've seen one elevator system, in Google's DeepMind office in Londo

        • by gmack ( 197796 )

          Imagine, an up shaft and a down shaft connected ladder style so the loading / unloading area is in the connecting tunnels. The car pulls in, loads/unloads while the other cars go up or down around it.

          This would already cut the amount of floor space required by half in the tower I used to work in It had 21 floors and 6 elevators not counting the ones that went to the basement. A system like that could cut the floor space used to half, while still being faster.

          As an added bonus, you could put more loading/un

          • Imagine, an up shaft and a down shaft connected ladder style so the loading / unloading area is in the connecting tunnels. The car pulls in, loads/unloads while the other cars go up or down around it.

            Very nice! Clearly, yes, this is the way to do it. In fact it's blindingly obvious :-)

            Plus in very tall buildings some additional shafts for "express" trips should be used so that elevators don't have to slow down for others that are stopping to enter the pickup area.

    • Yet without it, the office space is classed Grade Z (except the first floor).

    • If you're talking a 50-story building of grade A office space, you're not going to have just one elevator shaft. You'll have banks of elevators, potentially as many as 30 [quora.com], simply because you're limited to one car per shaft. Using your math, 30 elevators would mean 180,000 sqft of floor space (i.e. $180,000,000 at $1000/sqft).

      With this new technology, the limit of one car per shaft is broken.

      Suddenly, you can replace those 30 shafts with just four: one to go up, one to go down, one for entry and exit, and on

  • Please let some kid named Charlie be the first to ride in it.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      Perhaps after some system of golden tickets hidden in chocolate bars to select the lucky winners/unlucky victims?

      Actually, assuming this actually gets implemented somewhere (no doubt in some phallic monument to excess), I can well imagine that the owners of the building would do a Willy Wonka themed "Golden Ticket" competition to select some people for an all expenses paid trip to their opening night. Pretty obvious PR move for your new building as, while those who win are unlikely to care much beyond t
  • This is a "Turbolift" and that's what it needs to be called. It's not a Great Glass Elevator at all and I don't know why anyone would get that impression. Nobody said anything about it flying up out of the building and soaring away on its own.
    • I'm sorry, what do YOU call a 95-story linear accelerator?
      Sounds like a bloody giant goddamn space gun in disguise to me.
      Probably could do double duty in some sort of civil defense program to drive off any aliens that attempt to molest the Earth.
  • Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking.
    • ...Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down...

      This would explain the oft-repeated adage: "A stiff dick has no brain."

  • Far as I know, the Japanese commuter bullet train has wheels. They had an experimental high speed maglev on a separate test track but it's not in commercial service.
  • I have been in reserve-your-floor elevators and 2-cars-per-shaft elevators. I am not looking forward to the Wonkavator, unless they make it extremely human-friendly. It sounds cool but...

    The reserve-your-floor elevator would require floor selection by a keypad exterior to the cabin. It would refuse to accept other floor number entry from within the cabin, which is disconcerting if you just jump into a waiting cabin without entering a selection first. These were universally hated. The idea is the elevator is smarter than you and maximizes traffic but really it just was aggravating to anyone not used to it. (Customers and new employees)

    The 2-cars-per-shaft elevator would stop and everyone would look uncomfortably at each other in a progressively claustrophobic space. Also your ears would tend to pop from the height.

    I would feel a little better about 3D elevators if they would be guaranteed never to stop except in front of a door, and could be exited at any time if someone feels sick. If you tried to exit in an emergency would you be stuck in the middle of high voltage / EMF / mega-robot gears? The image of the exchanger gear is near from an engineering perspective in the way a funicular or trolley gear is, but you don't want to be climbing over one of those things. (maybe subject of a future James Bond movie?) If hacked you could literally lose people somewhere in a building. It brings so many potential neuroses I am not sure people will want to ride them. On the other hand for a factory they would be very cool.

  • by laughingskeptic ( 1004414 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @10:45AM (#54691207)
    U.S. Navy has had contractors developing magnetic lifts for over 10 years: http://news.northropgrumman.co... [northropgrumman.com] (2005).
  • To run multiple cars in one shaft you need to ditch the cable. Already some designs are being tried like this. Each car has its own traction motors, cog wheels, and guide rails. With emergency braking too.

    They are experimenting with two adjacent shafts, one up and the other down. Cars move horizontally to transfer from on shaft to another at the top floor and the basement.

    They are also moving the floor request button outside the car. Thus if three cars are going up, there is one request for floor A from

    • I believe Otis actually has a design for a system that uses linear induction motors & tracks for vertical and horizontal travel, but ALSO has the ability to grab onto one or more counterweighted cables for part or all of a trip (so they still get the partial benefit of counterweights). So an upward-bound elevator could grab onto a cable with a counterweight near the top of the building, then let go of the counterweight (which would then anchor itself in place until the next elevator grabbed onto it) if

  • So long as there are backup failsafe safety systems in place comparable or better than conventional elevators, sounds good to me. Also, please make the control system as unhackable as possible, and make the at least some of the safety systems completely separate from the main control system, so if it is hacked, they can't use the elevators as murder weapons/weapons of mass destruction? Thanks.
  • "Bridge!"

    I assume these will be voice controlled, after all.

I just asked myself... what would John DeLorean do? -- Raoul Duke

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