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The World's First Curve Escalator

  • Author:Esway
  • Source:www.eswaychina.com
  • Release on :2015-01-18

The World's First Curve Escalator

The first escalator in Britain was installed in Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, London, in 1898, two years after it was invented in the US.

 For more than 100 years the escalator has traditionally travelled either up or down and in a straight line.

But all that is set to change thanks to a revolutionary new design that is being hailed as the future of escalator travel.

The Levytator, named after its inventor Jack Levy, professor of mechanical engineering at City University in London, is the world's first escalator capable of following free-form curves.

It is already being nicknamed the "Sushi-lator" because of its curved modules, which resemble the conveyer belts used to deliver food in trendy Japanese restaurants.

These curved steps allow it to twist, bend and snake around corners in a continuous loopall with passengers on board.

All of which means architects can create escalators in any shape they want, whether as a conveyor belt around a department store, a ride around a theme park or, more simply, placed on top of an existing staircase.

The popularity of the imaginative design is clear. A YouTube video showing how the Levytator works has gone viral with more than 230000 hits since it was first posted in September.

The inspiration for the free-form escalator's design came to Professor Levy while travelling around the London Underground. "I wondered why the escalators had to be straight," he told The Independent. "Sometimes it' s really convenient to go round a corner."

The traditional escalator works by turning the steps upside down and looping them underneath the staircase to take them back to the start. Half the steps are therefore hidden away and never "in use".

Furthermore, the "up" and "down" escalators require two separate loops, each costing around 100,000 each.

The Levytator, on the other hand, has one single loop, making it a cheaper proposition because fewer steps are required.

Professor Levy said: "Traditional escalators developed topsy-turvy, but we're starting with a clean sheet of paper."

Safety is another factor that is likely to appeal to architects the world over. the Levytator has no gap between the stairs and the walls where people and things have for years become jammed.

Professor Levy said: "Worldwide, there are 10000 accidents on escalators every year, including several deaths. On two occasions I've seen people piling up at the bottom of an escalator and had to press the emergency stop button."

His design has already been patented in the UK, Europe, the US and China.

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