Energy Efficient Escalator

My soon-to-be seven-year old son, Chase, has always been fascinated with the escalators at the downtown Wells Fargo Bank Building (what kid isn’t?). But he’s concerned about the fact that they are always running – “wasting power”, as he puts it – even when people aren’t using them. His invention: a motion-activated escalator that would power up or down when someone walks by the sensors at either end. There would obviously be a point in the day when it would run continuously, but think of the “down-times” when no one is using it. I thought it was a pretty clever idea. I’m no mechanical engineer, but I’m guessing there would likely be some logistic wrinkles to iron out. I figure if they can do it with lights, it wouldn’t be so far off for escalators. Now if we could just get our budding young conservative to take shorter showers.

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