The Elevators Of The Future Will Float On Magnets

The Elevators Of The Future Will Float On Magnets

While cars, computers, and a wide range of other technologies have benefitted from new designs and novel advances, the elevator has lagged behind. In most buildings, elevators still use the same cable-based system they did when they were invented. But some are working to revolutionize this system with the same technology used by high-speed rail: magnets. By using electromagnets to create linear motors that would drive each elevator car on a cushion of air, an elevator system would be freed of its cables and allowed to move in all directions.

This technology could open up possibilities far beyond passenger convenience. Without the limit of cable length, elevators could get even taller, thereby letting skyscrapers reach new heights. With the ability to move horizontally, constraints on building shapes could be eased, allowing for new and creative designs.

To learn more about elevators and how they might shape our future cities, watch the videos below.

For more about how magnets are helping shape the future, check out our series, Curiosity and Motorola Present: The Power of Magnets.

Futuristic Elevators That Move In Every Direction

Multi-directional elevators could shape the buildings of the future.

01:11

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The Multi is the world's first rope-free elevator system, and can move multiple cabins in multiple directions. (0:23)

  • 2

    The elevator works by using magnetic levitation, the same technology used on high-speed trains. (0:32)

  • 3

    The company says the design will increase elevator shaft capacity by up to 50%, giving passengers an elevator every 15-30 seconds. (0:45)

Space Elevator: Science Fiction Or The Future of Mankind?

Turns out, this idea is not as crazy as it sounds.

06:32

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    A space elevator can launch things with only the energy it requires to go up. Sideways movement comes free with the Earth's rotation. (1:23)

  • 2

    Here's what a space elevator might look like. (2:36)

  • 3

    As a test, some have proposed first building a space elevator on the moon. (4:45)

Who Invented The Elevator?

Evidence suggests that the first elevator may have been built in ancient Rome.

05:20

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