A one-person vacuum elevator that slots into buildings with a minimum of fuss has gone on sale in the US.
The tube-shaped transporter carries a person upwards at a steady speed of 15 centimetres per second using turbines to suck air out of a pressurised chamber above the passenger capsule. The capsule is lowered when the pressure in the upper section is returned to normal.
The Residential Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator was developed by Vacuum Elevators, a company based in Argentina and Florida, US. Two- or three-floor versions are currently available, and the company is now developing a four-floor system and another that can accommodate a wheelchair.
The elevator is a metre in diameter and almost entirely transparent, providing the passenger with a panoramic view during their ride. It is made from lightweight aluminium and polycarbonate and can be installed with a minimum of construction work, says Dawn O’Connor at retailer Daytona Elevator, based in Florida, US.