Elevators that don’t just move up and down but can also move from side to side have long been a sci-fi fantasy; but this is set to change.
Now engineering company ThyssenKrupp has made this a reality with their magnet controlled elevator system MULTI.
The set-up sees elevators being able to move along horizontal shafts as they are no longer connected to ropes that pull them up and down. It also allows more than one cabin to be in each elevator shaft.
It is due to be tested in 2016 but the new system may change how we design our future cities and buildings.
Elevators may become an even more vital part of transporting us inside our offices, which could grow in length, as well as in height.
“As the nature of building constructions evolve, it is also necessary to adapt elevator systems to better suit the requirements of buildings and high volumes of passengers,” said Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG.
“From the one dimensional vertical arrangement to a two dimensional horizontal/vertical arrangement with more than one or two cabins operating in each shaft, MULTI represents a proud moment in ThyssenKrupp’s history of presenting cutting-edge transport technologies that best serve current mobility needs.”
The company claims, in the above video, that elevators have not significantly changed for 160 years and they believe that by omitting the rope and having a direct drive in the elevator cabins it will be able to change our cities.
The company said: “In the future more and more people will live in megacities. Today, building development is constrained by the forms of mobility available.”
“The ability for the elevator to move horizontally as well as vertically means that buildings will be able to be designed into different shapes that could reflect its environment or be built around pre-existing structures.”
The creators said the elevator system can increase a building’s usability by up to 25% as it will take up significantly less floor space than traditional elevators do.
The system essentially works on a circular system, which involves the cabins running in a loop at a speed of 5m/s.
The company said there will be transfer stops every 50 metres, which means that there will be access to an elevator every 15 to 30 seconds.
Images courtesy of Thyssenkrupp