The urban settings of compact high-rise buildings desperately require elevators, but it adds considerably to the energy requirements of the buildings. Making us lazy to walk even a couple of steps is just an added disadvantage with the conventional elevators. Design graduate Elena Larriba and engineer Jon Garcia have come up with the idea of a Vycle, a human powered lift that rises above with your foot pedaling, a healthier alternative.
The Vycle uses a bike gearing system so you can support your own weight and carry yourself to the next floor by pedalling. There are stairs, and there is the elevator, so why would you need something like a Vycle? The designers have two answers, the Vycle is fun and pretty much easier than the stairs, and the inventors say that it is a “human powered vertical transport system for our increasingly growing cities.”
The idea is obviously crazy for huge skyscrapers with over 50 floors, but the low dwelling buildings with a few floors can do pretty well with this energy saving idea. It can even be retrofitted to old buildings that have no lifts, and at the minimum, it could mean easier grocery transport. If installed to an office building this will not just be quicker transport but also a way of making the work environment friendlier and more fun while making the employees a tad bit healthier as the company claims that the Vycle “reintroduces the sense of flow and community that currently is exclusive on the urban ground plane.”
In addition to being useful to old buildings, the Vycle can also be installed in the buildings under construction as an alternative to ladders where “around a quarter of the workforce is aged over 50. Vycle is an alternative to long ladders often used in these temporary works that can offer the user a more sustainable and safer way to navigate through scaffoldings, cranes or transmission towers.” A significant number of accidents could be avoided that generally happen on construction sites because of scaffoldings and ladders.
The two inventors are now looking for investors and backers to continue their project and develop it into an impactful business venture.