An Escalator Than Can Handle Curves


(Video Link)


The Levytator is a free-form escalator that can bend and curve as needed by architects. It operates on one continuous loop, so there's no need for redundant conveyors moving in opposite directions:

Unlike traditional designs, where redundant steps move underneath those in use, the Levytator utilises a continuous loop of curved modules, which can follow any path upwards, flatten and straighten out, and descend once more, all with passengers onboard.

The system can be arranged in any configuration – as a DNA-esque double helix in a science museum, for example – and also offers several practical advantages at a cost that is similar to a conventional unit.


Link via Geekosystem

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It might not go over well in the lawsuit-happy and Americans with Disabilities Act enabled USA. The difference the shape of the leading edge of the step (convex vs concave) might cause some problems for users with limited mobility/stability, as they couldn't stand facing the direction of travel.

Also, the direction of motion would need to be picked with some care. In most of the shown applications, the convex leading edge is moving in such a way as to create an on-going pinch hazard with the static side of the escalator. If something (foot, clothing, shopping bag, etc) were set there and brushed the side of the escalator, it would be pushed back until it wedged between the side of the escalator and the step. Maintenance and possible pain with lawsuit ensue.

Lastly, in some applications the ability to reverse the escalator is desired. For instance, at stadiums, train stations and other locations where there is a tidal flow of people (rush hour, before the game and after it, etc), where it wouldn't be practical.

Still a very cool idea. Very creative and great to see someone thinking about these things!
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