Remember the elevator in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory that can move in any direction? Too bad elevators like that don’t exist, right? Or do they?
In fact, they soon will. Thanks to advancements in technology, the world’s first cable-free elevator is in development. The elevators are being built by a German industrial company, called ThyssenKrupp. The company promises to have it operational by 2016.
How Does the Maglev Elevator Work?
Current elevators are limited by the systems that support them. Every elevator is powered using a system of cables. However, this isn’t too efficient; It only allows you to move up and down. Moving "sideways and slantways and longways and backways and squareways and front ways and any other ways that you can think of" can't work with this setup. That’s where maglev comes into play.
To solve the problems with current elevators, a rope-free propulsion system was needed. The maglev elevator, otherwise known as MULTI, overcomes these limitations using a similar system. The elevators —yes that’s right, there are multiple elevators — are propelled by super-powerful magnets. Without cables in the way, the elevators are free to travel side to side as well.
MULTI is also more energy efficient than traditional cable elevators. The maglev elevator will move at speeds of 5 m/s. It will also be able to carry 50 percent more people, reducing wait times between 15 and 30 seconds.
Lastly, the elevator shafts themselves will be smaller. This means engineers and architects will have more room when building and designing buildings.
If you’d like to find out more about MULTI, check out the video below.
WATCH: "MULTI – The World’s First Rope-Free Elevator System"