Maybe I’m a little claustrophobic.
Or maybe I find the idea of being stuck in an elevator at my house with nobody around kind of frightening.
Or maybe I just like the idea of having an escalator in my house.
An escalator seems so much more flexible than an elevator:
- if the power goes out you can still use an escalator
- an escalator is better for your health, it could even be part of your workout routine; you can use the escalator for an interval workout – walk up the escalator with the power off, then ride it back down to recover; repeat 10-15 times. You could use it like a stairmaster – stand at the bottom of the escalator and turn the escalator on in the reverse direction, and just walk “up” the steps at a steady pace; perhaps you could even adjust the speed of the escalator.
- an escalator would not take up additional space; you can just replace your stairway with an escalator
- your pet could still move between the upper and lower levels of your house without your intervention; teaching them to use an elevator could prove difficult
- it’s easier to make a grand entrance on an escalator, for when you want to do things like announce that you are running for President or to simply say aloha
I could go on and on here, but clearly escalators are the way to go.
So why don’t we see escalators in houses?
I don’t have the answer, I’m just throwing out the idea.
In the meantime, a group of mechanical engineers, biomedical engineers, and computer scientists at Georgia Tech and Emory University is working on a sort of pre-cursor to home escalators. The team is developing “energy-recycling stairs“, spring-loaded stairs that compress when stepped on, absorbing impact and saving 26 percent of a person’s energy. This energy is then stored to provide a boost of 37 percent when stepped on going upwards.
The system can be installed on existing staircases on a temporary or permanent basis, and the researchers hope that, if developed further, it could replace stairlifts and even elevators.
So why not go all the way, and just turn a staircase into a moving staircase, i.e., an escalator.
I’d seriously consider starting a company that manufactured and sold residential escalators, but it seems like the type of business that would have more than its fair share of ups and downs…