Take a ride in the great glass elevator

The Spark

5th July 2017

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We all remember the great glass elevator from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but now a team of electrical engineers in Germany have brought Roald Dahl’s creation to life. The Multi can not only travel vertically, but also side-to-side and diagonally. Far from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, this revolutionary invention is being tested at the Tower of Light in Rottweil.

The Multi is the first ever ropeless lift, which is based on magnetic levitation technology similar to that used in Japan’s bullet train. It has been compared to a metro system because of the way it can take people to their exact location, rather than stopping at various other floors along the way.

While it may be a few years before these lifts feature in regular offices, The Multi would not look out of place in Apple’s new $5 billion office, which has been nicknamed ‘the spaceship’ because of its circular design. Eight years in the making, Apple Park is the brainchild of Steve Jobs and is due to open in Cupertino this summer. Every pane of glass at the building will be curved, it will be surrounded by around 9,000 trees and who knows, maybe one day it will become home to a lift that can travel in all directions.


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