With the exception of a few spiral and curved ones,
Escalators have by default followed a fairly straight path -
In Conventional escalators we see today, the “unused steps” moves underneath once they have reached the highest position.
Hence to carry passengers both up and down, two separate escalators are needed.
This is done by replacing the traditional rectangular steps with curved modules that also allows the modules to be placed in a continuous loop.
This then acheives two goals, namely it can follow almost any curved path upwards, flattening and straightening out, before descending again in one continuous loop.
Secondly only one power source is required to carry passengers both up and down. Additionally, the weight of passengers traveling down can be used to offset the weight of passengers traveling up to further enhance energy savings. Have a look at the video below to see this ingeniously simple design
Besides since the curved modules are always "on top" and all the steps can be accessed from above, maintenance is much easier. Additionally, as no excavation is required for installation, the Levytator could be placed on top of an existing staircase.
"This could be particularly useful in the heritage sector, where the system could be placed on top of a grand staircase in a listed stately home, providing better access for elderly and disabled visitors, but not destroying the fabric of the building," points out Levy.
With such an ingeniously simple design and the obvious energy savings, it's hard to see Levytators not taking off. The technology has already been patented in the U.K., Europe, the U.S.A. and China. Revy has already built a scale model Levytator and City University London is currently in talks with investors, escalator manufacturers, architects and property developers worldwide, to build and install the first full-size Levytator.