Ditching the steel cables of conventional elevator design for magnetic linear motors, German company ThyssenKrupp is bringing the "Wonkavator" to life. The recently unveiled MULTI elevator scaled prototype uses multiple self-propelled elevator cabins along a continuous loop that can go upways and sideways and longways and backways.
MULTI runs similar to a bus route, with elevator cabins picking up passengers every 15 to 30 seconds, increasing transport capacity by up to 50 percent and reducing wait time. The elevator doors and cabins are made with new lightweight material that reduces the weight 50 percent as well. Without the use of cables or a multilevel brake system, the MULTI requires a smaller shaft, which can increase a building’s usable area by up to 25 percent. According to ThyssenKrupp, the new efficient design will cut construction costs of installing additional elevators and escalators and increase rent revenue from the additional space.
ThyssenKrupp is currently constructing a ‘test tower’ in Rottweil, Germany featuring the first running MULTI prototype, expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Breaking free from the technical constraints of cable elevators, the MULTI could give way to taller skyscrapers and peculiar building designs–maybe even a chocolate waterfall.