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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Levitating and Nanotube Lifts

  • On January 19, 2006

Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp have developed the world’s first elevators controlled by magnetic levitation available as early as 2008.Using maglev technology capable of suspending objects in mid-air through the combination of magnetic attraction and repulsion they promise quieter and more comfortable travel at up to 300m per-minute, some 700m per-minute slower however than conventional lifts. Personally I’d prefer to trust in Otis rather than Electromagnets.

Video of Superconducting Levitation

Maglev technology has already been used to develop high-speed trains. The only passenger-carrying maglev train in the world links Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, to the city center at speeds of 430 kilometers per hour.

While I’m on the subject of Lifts, NASA have shown an interest in Space Elevators. Check out the space elevator website which follows the progress of research into utilizing lifts as a transportation and utility systems for moving people, payloads, power, and gases between the surface of the Earth and space!

“Recent advances in technology, most notably the development of carbon nanotube composites, now appear to make building a space elevator feasible. Initial research reports on building the space elevator that draw upon these discoveries have now been completed. As proposed in these reports, the space elevator will consist of a carbon nanotube composite ribbon stretching some 62,000 miles from earth to space. The elevator will be anchored to an offshore sea platform near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, and to a small counterweight in space. Mechanical lifters (robotic elevator cars) will move up and down the ribbon, carrying such items as satellites, solar power systems, and eventually people into space. The Space Elevator is not a tower, or even an elevator shaft. It’s just the elevator cable, without even any big motors at the top to pull things up. Vehicles and their payloads have to pull themselves up the cable with their own motors and power.

via wmmna and bldgblog


  1. Amazing thing….With this technology we will reach very efficient machine and may be long life generator to generate electricity….After levitation perform train, then go to wind turbine for gigantic insltalled capacity.

  2. Space Elevator, how bout a magnetic space cannon, we wouldn’t shoot people up in the things, but we could shoot payloads of supplies for building huge satellites in space without the large costs. The rockets could be bullet shaped, and be spud up in a huge magnetic centrifuge, when it got out of the nozzle, it could pop the stabilizer wings and fire up the rocket engine to make it the rest of the way to space…. once there we could use the basic supplies like water, dirt, plastics, cement, etc to make huge satellites capable of supporting life.. I myself believe that the most important thing for humans to do today is to make a satellite capable of surviving any phenomena the world can throw at us, we could do it much faster with a space cannon powered by one of my wind turbines I have invented.

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