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Why Don’t Houses Have Escalators?

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

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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…

Published by

Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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