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This Staircase Does the Climbing for You

by Conner Flynn
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Stairs are the worst, right? Too much exercise. Especially if you are talking a multi-story building with no elevator or escalator. Well, the engineers at Georgia Tech and Emory University have created stairs that will do all the hard work for you one day soon.

zoom in

These energy-recycling stairs store energy as you descend, then release it to make it easier on the way back up. It is a brilliant idea. Our bodies use a lot of energy to prevent us from falling. It’s usually wasted energy however. These energy-recycling stairs store that energy with a spring-loaded mechanism that compresses each step and locks it down as you climb down. So you are basically charging each step with potential energy once you’ve hit the bottom. When you climb back up, pressure sensors on each tread release the locking mechanism on the step below it, turning that stored potential energy into kinetic energy. This helps lift a climber’s leg as the step raises again, reducing the amount of effort required.

Hopefully they can perfect this because I’m getting sick of using my actual muscles.

[via New Atlas via Gizmodo]

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