The design of the escalators remained virtually unchanged from 1892 th goda
Until now, get up on the platform and go with it can be risky, especially when the moving staircase disappears beneath you - can get stuck in the gap clothes. The escalator, for example, tore the child in Singapore thumb and strangled drunken sushi chef when the hem of his sweatshirt was in the gap between the stairs and the landing platform.
One of the worst accidents on the escalator in modern history occurred in 1987, when the escalator on the London Underground exploded and started a fire - 31 people died. The reason was that in the interior of the car and running accumulated lint, scraps of paper, tissue and fat.
After this incident, many escalators have been added to the brush-vents, emergency stop button and automatic sprinklers. In the subway in New Delhi in 2002, all the escalators were equipped with trays to collect hair, dust, water and mud, holding debris from getting inside. Also platforms developed a special design that makes the edge of a sari can not get stuck between the edge of the platform and the moving stairs.
David Chan, director of the Center for Information Leadership at City University of London, believes that the design of the escalator not fundamentally changed, because the manufacturers have no incentive to develop escalators something else. Escalator in the usual form and so is safe enough, and to make any systemic changes to the design is very difficult because of the international standards. Now the market is dominated by four manufacturers: «Otis», «Schindler», «ThyssenKrupp» and «Kone».
Last year, Chan and Jack Levy, professor at the Faculty of Engineering at City University, presented a moving staircase, entitled "Levitator" different from the conveyor belt that is not closed.
Instead, there are two escalator stairs, one of which moves only up and the other - downwards. Between the stairs "levitator" aligned as an ordinary escalator. Landing platform he does not, so it is safer. Chan also stresses that perform repairs much easier because you can remove it only one of the two stairs.
Of course, there is an alternative: the good old staircase. But almost 12 thousand people in the US die each year after falling from a ladder. It seems that moving up or down is always fraught with risk.