Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology came up with a way to help people climb stairs more easily and save the energy they waste while struggling with the ascent. They designed some assistive stairs which absorb the energy invested by one while moving on them and return it to them, making their effort much smaller.
- Researchers will soon make stair climbing much easier.
- With the assistive stairs, the energy is recycled and used to help you ascend.
- These stairs absorb the energy usually wasted during descent and release it when you go back up.
You need to get ready to put some effort into climbing stairs, but some people are actually not able to do this task without assistance. This is why this team of scientists decided to make it easier for disabled or older people to go up. Escalators already exist, but they are not that practical, and cannot be installed at home.
On the other hand, these assistive stairs are cheap, and can be installed anywhere. They also have quite a simple working principle. With the help of a latched spring, they gather all the energy used by a person while descending. When they go back up, the stairs release that energy and make the ascent much easier, as the steps start springing and helping you get up.
Karen Liu, the lead author of the study published in the journal PLOS One, got the idea for these revolutionary assistive stairs while seeing her mother struggle with handling stairs. There is still more to achieve before proving them highly effective, but they are most surely a cheaper alternative to escalators.
These come after several other devices promised to make the elders’ life easier. For instance, in June this year, researchers presented an exoskeleton and prosthetic limbs which offer better mobility for older people or for those struggling with disabilities.
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