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Space Elevator Prototype Climbs MIT Building

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the no-place-for-lecter-to-hide dept.

Space 422

Jackie O writes "According to an employee blog on the Liftport Group website, their prototype robot for the Space Elevator has just successfully climbed a 260-foot building (in a driving snowstorm, no less) at MIT. Now all they have to get it to do is climb over 60 thousand miles into space, carrying things. Good luck there." Update: 11/17 05:17 GMT by T : Liftport has posted some photos from the ascent, too. Thanks!

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422 comments

superhero's (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838971)

I bet Spiderman is just a tad bit jealous...

Oh great, (5, Funny)

A Boy and His Blob (772370) | more than 9 years ago | (#10838976)

Are we going to start measuring stuff in MIT building heights now?

Re:Oh great, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839006)

Is this what humor has come to?

Re:Oh great, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839053)

No, Smoots, of course!

how many smoots in a green building? (3, Funny)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839084)

if those MIT kids can measure a bridge in Smoots (Smoot was a student), they can measure make the Green building a larger unit..... try and stop em....

Re:how many smoots in a green building? (2, Funny)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839159)

Bah, the whole Smoots thing is just MIT's way of distracting your attention from the fact that the bridge immediately adjacent to their school is properly called the "Harvard Bridge".

Considering Smoot was rolled over a bridge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839300)

It's going to be really hard to use him to measure more than one building.

He won't roll too well after that one use...

Re:how many smoots in a green building? (1)

darkgumby (647085) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839351)

I read about this waaaay back in 1979 in my high school freshman physical science book.
They had a picture of a guy being used to measure a bridge or a sidewalk or something.
Google is useful. It was not this pic:
http://alumweb.mit.edu/classes/1962/ollie.html
so I guess it was not the original smoot.
Hey, it *was* a bridge, I guess my memory is still pretty good.

Re:how many smoots in a green building? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839400)

They repeated the experiment with Smoot's son or grandson. This changed the length, but only slightly.

Back in the days when I was applying to MIT, I read all of that stuff.

parent overated.. (0, Troll)

Goosey (654680) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839229)

Can't believe parent is getting modded funny. I mean it might be funny if thats how it was posted, but it clearly says 260 feet. I mean COME ON

where's the link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838977)

The link appears not to take us anywhere useful!

Background Info (4, Informative)

Lord Prox (521892) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839136)

then try this link [www.isr.us] for those of you who don't know what a "space elevator" is (and insist on hanging around here). It is a faq on a study done on the concept. More info is also on the site.

When? (4, Insightful)

mpost4 (115369) | more than 9 years ago | (#10838978)

This sounds nice. Also why just a space lift. could it also be used to scale other objects that we may not want to risk human life on?

Re:When? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838997)

Like the mess on my desk?

Re:When? (3, Insightful)

double-oh three (688874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839090)

It's a good idea in theory, but there's the small problem of someone has to go to the top of the building/object to anchor the ribbon in the first place. So once they work around that, it should be fine.

And the fact that a rope and pully would do the same job faster just occured to me.

Maybe not a good idea? (3, Informative)

wasted (94866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839162)

It's a good idea in theory, but there's the small problem of someone has to go to the top of the building/object to anchor the ribbon in the first place. So once they work around that, it should be fine.

And the fact that a rope and pully would do the same job faster just occured to me.


I don't know if it is even a good idea in theory. Velocity differences and rotations between the two anchoring points would need to be considered. Even if one was going to try to use a geostationary satellite as one end-point, the mass of the object (rope or ribbon,) connecting the satellite to the earth would be significant, and would drag the satellite crashing back down to the earth. If the satellite was on station further out than the geostationary orbit, and the combined center of mass and the rope/ribbon were at the altitude for a geostationary orbit, the stresses involved would be tremendous, especially when the location of the space elevator would vary, causing the center of mass to vary.

Of course, I'm sure those guys at MIT have already done the calculus to figure those things out, and know how much stress would be present.

Re:Maybe not a good idea? (1)

seringen (670743) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839251)

it's actually the whole point, the centrifugal force of the device keeps the ladder taught which lets you climb things up it

Re:Maybe not a good idea? (1)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839415)

And the fact that a rope and pully would do the same job faster just occured to me.

Well yes it would, and you can be the one to pull 3 tonnes of supplies into space, that's only how many miles? Go for it man!

it's actually the whole point, the centrifugal force of the device keeps the ladder taught which lets you climb things up it

EXACTLY. and since it's going to be at the equator it will extend straight out, if it were not on the centre of the earth it would pull further north (or south) from the rotation.

And yes centre is spelt correctly, I'm Canadian.

Re:Maybe not a good idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839425)

Gee, you might like to familiarise yourself with the topic next time.

Umm.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838984)

Now all they have to get it to do is climb over 60 thousand miles into space, carrying things. ...and build the space elevator. Isn't that the real show stopper here...?

Re:Umm.. (1, Interesting)

Wabin (600045) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839315)

Well, the robot is actually going to be doing a chunk of the building of the elevator. Once the first strand is up, the robot's first job will be to bring more and more strands up until the whole shebang can support some real weight. I would say the real showstopper is probably getting the carbon nanotubes long enough and strong enough. They wil certainly have plenty of time to get the robot tuned before that is ready.

60 thousand miles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838987)

WTF?

Only 260 feet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838988)

Well, I guess a space elevator could be that tall -- if the earth were spinning at 17,000 miles per hour. Hurricanes would be a bit more exciting though.

Re:Only 260 feet? (1)

gantrep (627089) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839151)

And if god didn't smite us and confound our universal communication system(the internet) for building a tower into the heavens.

Too Long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838993)

60k Miles at 290 feet per what seemed like 10 minutes? Too bad I was never good with math

Way too long. (5, Funny)

wasted (94866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839192)

60000 miles = 316,800,000 feet.
316,800,000 feet / 29 feet per minute = 20.77 years

Re:Way too long. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839211)

On the up side the trip down is much, much faster.

The first automobile wasn't supersonic, either. (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839434)

60000 miles = 316,800,000 feet.
316,800,000 feet / 29 feet per minute = 20.77 years


And the first automobile didn't break the sound barrier either - though we now have an experimental model that has, and consumer-grade vehicles routinely cruise FAR faster than those early manufacturers considered.

Ditto trains. Ditto planes. Ditto ships.

Also: As you get farther up you can go faster for a given horsepower. Once you cross synchronous orbit (or when you go back down) you GAIN energy from going farther, and the limit (if you don't want to keep it as velocity) is how fast you can store or dump it.

Optimism? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838996)

"Now all they have to get it to do is climb over 60 thousand miles into space, carrying things. Good luck there."

Never underestimate a stubborn genius. Besides, its the journey that holds the juice... imagine what they'd accomplish even getting half way there.

Re:Optimism? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839070)

Never underestimate a stubborn genius. Besides, its the journey that holds the juice... imagine what they'd accomplish even getting half way there.

Getting people stuck in an elevator 30,000 miles up? Could be quite an accomplishment, depending on the politi-- er, person.

Re:Optimism? (2, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839253)

imagine what they'd accomplish even getting half way there.

Or 1/1000th of the way there.
So make it a distributed project.
Have 1,000 little robots climbing 1,000 feet each.
That's a 1,000,000 foot climb.
Imagine how much they'd accomplish by doing that.

Um... oh, yeah:

:-)

Space Race (1, Funny)

Total Immortal (828356) | more than 9 years ago | (#10838998)

Finaly! I never really believed that man walked on the moon, all a big consipiracy! but now i can sleep safe at night knowin that with this news we have at last won the space race! unluck reds!

Re:Space Race (2, Funny)

WinPimp2K (301497) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839224)

I never really believed that man walked on the moon

Ah, but now the US has to hurry up and get back to the moon so they can plant the evidence of the Apollo landings... Because if the Chinese get there first they will destroy the evidence of the Apollo landings. Doesn't thinking like that make your head hurt?

Blog entry (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839029)

Lifter Success!

Woohoo! I have to say that the creator of our robotic lifter, David Shoemaker, rocks! The latest incarnation of the lifter faced what was probably its most difficult challenge to date: climb MIT's 290-foot-tall Green building in the middle of driving snow. And the robot succeeded marvelously, despite some problems!

The morning started off cool, but with temperatures dropping. Blaise Gassend and I brought everything for the rooftop anchor station up to the roof and got it assembled. There was a bit of ice rain that started falling (and melting once it landed), but it wasn't too bad. Once the anchor station was assembled, we headed back inside to finish prepping the ribbon and to work on insulating the lifter's battery. When we went back outside, the weather had changed - it was now a very serious snow storm! I decided that we could go ahead with the lifter test, since the wind wasn't too bad, and I thought that snow was at least better than rain.

We had planned on attaching a safety line to the robot to catch it in case the ribbon broke (which we weren't expecting, but we wanted to be extra cautious). Unfortunately, the safety line was a last minuted addition that did not get tested in advance, and of course it was the thing that broke. Partway up the ribbon, the string that was hooked to the safety rope got tangled in the axle of the lifter, and the rope itself was separated from the string. So our safety line turned out to be more of a detriment than a help! And due to the wind, the ribbon got twisted around perhaps 10 whole revolutions, which also slowed the lifter's ascent. But the lifter kept going, and even though it was slower than normal, it made it all the way up to the roof level, reversed course and headed back down (halfway up, the twist in the ribbon unwound itself).

I want to thank Blaise Gassend for his great help in setting things up and preparing part of the ribbon. Look for pictures and perhaps video to be online within the next few days, and perhaps a more detailed description of the event.!

Re:Blog entry (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839134)

There was no information on the strength of this ribbon. I hardly believe that it has the strength to use for a ribbon to go into outer space as I have not seen any articles about anyone making a strong enough ribbon longer than a few nano meters. If they could build one that long they would be used for suspension bridges first.

Re:Blog entry (2, Insightful)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839268)

Process.

It's not all about 'just' having a ribbon that is strong enough - we've got to have climbers that can make the journey as well. This is one of those small steps.

Wall-scaling robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839064)

If robots are now scaling our buildings, we should all be able to sleep a little sounder these days, eh? Boy howdy if there was a robot scaling my house every night I know that no young hooligans would mess with my place.
http://www.purevolume.com/nescienceredemption [purevolume.com]
Sam

Thats nice but... (3, Funny)

skyman8081 (681052) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839089)

Space elevator practicalities (5, Funny)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839106)

Every time this is mentioned, I get all kinds of Larry Niven RingWorld flashbacks for some reason.

As cool as this idea is, there are some problems (especially for the lower altitudes). Some of the problems are more serious than others:

  • Wind shear: winds at various altitudes can differ widely. Both the cable and anything climbing it will be affected.

  • Resonance: a cable will tend to vibrate; it will be necessary to dampen the vibration. Usually this is done with strategically placed weights. With an object climbing the cable, however, the resonance will be constantly changing.

  • No Adspace: There will be no place to put banner ads, so the thing will never be profitable [slashdot.org].

  • Environmentally Harmful: birds could run into it and die. Doesn't anyone consider birds?

Re:Space elevator practicalities (3, Interesting)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839202)

I tend to think more of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series - since the space elevator is key in them, whereas I can't remember a single elevator in the Ringworld books.

In the Mars series, these points are largely addressed. Wind shear and resonance are handled by thrusters placed every so often along the cable, managed by a supercomputer. Adspace isn't needed - the thing pays for itself because it's a transport mechanism. Mars has no birds. ;)

In addition, he also brings up the issue of terrorism (those same locations that have thrusters also have anti-missile defenses), and the massive destruction the entire thing causes when it comes down, after they break off the counterweight asteroid it's using.

Larry Niven (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839254)

No, I don't think Ringworld had space elevators, or even escalators.

Maybe my psychosis is centered around the monomolecular cables used to attach the shade plates (or whatever he called them) together.

Re:Space elevator practicalities (5, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839203)

Environmentally Harmful: birds could run into it and die. Doesn't anyone consider birds?

Again with the birds! Birds will fly into just about anything over 5 feet tall - it's called "natural selection".

Re:Space elevator practicalities (5, Funny)

jerde (23294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839223)

>Doesn't anyone consider birds?

I consider them to be evil feather-covered lizards. Does that count?

Re:Space elevator practicalities (1)

Sargondai (25502) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839275)

I believe I read a summary somewhere that debunked each of these. The only one I remember is your point 4.

The ground-point for the cable will be in the middle of the Pacific. Or a similar place completely devoid of our avian friends.

Ahhhh... here we go:

http://www.liftport.com/faq.php

Re:Space elevator practicalities (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839368)

My only serious point is the vibration. The page you linked to talked only about the overall resonance of the thing, calling it 'seven hours'. That doesn't consider .

I don't know how to fill in sqrt(tension/(mass/length)), so it's hard to really work on the problem.

Re:Space elevator practicalities (5, Funny)

cryptoluddite (658517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839337)

You forgot the most important problem:
  • Terrorism: A space elevator is vulnerable to terrorism at every part of its length. A terrorist can target any section of the elevator, but we have to defend all of it. That's not a winning stragegy -- we have to take the fight to them.
So screw colonizing Mars, we need to occupy it now or the terrorists will win.

Re:Space elevator practicalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839357)

The earth is spinning, the moon is spinning, and the moon is orbiting the earth. How does this elevator work again?

Am I missing something?

Jobs (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839110)

Steve jobs invented the MIT building, and the space elevator.

Space Elevators will never work! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839116)

Too much space junk in low orbit, a collision would be inevitable with a stationary Space Elevator shearing it off and sending it crashing back to Earth.

In all practicality, Space Elevators will never be feasible.

Should read 60 miles... (1, Insightful)

FuzzMaster (596994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839119)

... or about 350 thousand feet.

I don't think so. (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839172)

You have to go well beyond geosynchronous orbit, which is like 23 thousand miles high. I would have guessed twice that for the counterweight, but maybe even further as they say.

Re:Should read 60 miles... (2, Informative)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839175)

Uh, no, it shouldn't. A 60 mile cable would fall right back to earth - the cable has to be twice the length of geosynchronous orbit (30,000 miles or so) to stay up.

Re:Should read 60 miles... (1)

FuzzMaster (596994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839201)

Is the post talking about the elevator or the cable? I read it as the elevator, which wouldn't have to go nearly as far to deliver a payload, right?

Re:Should read 60 miles... (3, Informative)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839305)

No: if it was just the cable, it would need to be twice the lenght of geo-sync orbit. The thing is, there will be a massive satellite at the end. Presumably, in fact, the satellite could be designed to be a launching-off point for interplanetary flight (via building the ship in orbit, instead of having to lift it off the surface). Its pretty easy to show that with a sufficiently massive satellite, the cable can be basically an arbitrary length (or more accurately, an arbitrary length longer than geo-sync orbit).

Re:Should read 60 miles... (1)

FuzzMaster (596994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839419)

I don't think there's any doubt we can get a satellite into geosynchronous or higher orbit. The question is, can we get an elevator to deliver a payload into space? The Ansari X Prize was for 100 kilometers (62.5 miles) and the ISS is only 200 miles high. That's a lot closer than 60 thousand miles, and it would still greatly reduce the cost of space travel. There's no need to go all the way to the end of the cable.

stop laughing - prototype - ... (5, Interesting)

Saeger (456549) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839123)

Arthur C. Clark -- the guy who invented the idea of the geosync satellite -- said of the space elevator not too long ago, that "Itll be built 10 years after everybody stops laughing and I think they have stopped laughing." Here's to hoping that exponential progress [kurzweilai.net] in molecular nanotech makes his estimate a not-so-idealistic one.

I can't help but think about all the political hurdles that'll delay the space elevator more than any technical setbacks. And then I get to thinking about how slow and unromantic a space elevator ascent would be compared to the exciting phallic-rocket launch. Still, the space elevator is about the only way to eventually get launch costs below a dollar per pound; chemical rockets are too energy-wasteful to ever reach that point.

--

Re:stop laughing - prototype - ... (4, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839181)

i am pretty sure that a towering space elevator is at least as phallic as a rocket.

Re:stop laughing - prototype - ... (1)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839278)

Not _that_ phalllic - the thing will be paper thin and a meter wide. Unless you have odd notions of 'phallic', and if you do I pity your wife.

I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839241)

But having a 60,000 mile line extending out perpendicular from the earth is pretty phallic.

In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find anything more phallic. HA WE GOT THE BIGGEST IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM!! BEAT THAT MARS!!

For Pete's sake (3, Funny)

cuteseal (794590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839142)

For Pete's sake... I'm going to get real mad if the guys on the 19th floor keep misusing our R&D technology just to fetch their morning "coffee and donuts"...

From Tiny Acorns... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839143)

I find it amusing that they're based in Bremerton, WA, which is about the least high-tech place I can imagine.

Re:From Tiny Acorns... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839270)

I find it amusing that they're based in Bremerton, WA, which is about the least high-tech place I can imagine.

Then the hard part wasn't climbing the MIT building, it was the crawl across the country.

Re:From Tiny Acorns... (1)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839332)

Everyone's gotta be from somewhere. Bremerton is in the Seattle area, handy to Southern California and there is a ton o' aerospace industry in the area. Boeing? Bezos' space venture?

Crimininy man, Starbucks is from Seattle - can't stray far from the source of all that is coffee goodness.

Hmmm (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839167)

Just think - a new #1 target for terrorists.

What's the point exactly? (4, Insightful)

nrlightfoot (607666) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839198)

I fail to see how climbing a 290 foot ribbon, on battery power, is even relevant to building a space elevator. It's realy just someone's fun little robotics engineering project. The amount of energy needed to climb all the way to space is so huge that either a highly energy dense storage medium not yet available, wireless power transmission, or transmitting power on the ribbons themselves if that turns out to be possible, are the only viable options to power a space elevator. Other than that, the lifter is a simple engineering project that could be built today.

Re:What's the point exactly? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839285)

Built today? If you can run out and build a gizmo that can reliably run 23,000 + km .. straight up .. through atmosphere AND vacuum ... Liftport will pay handsomely for your mechanical genius.

See M. Laine at the Bremerton office and bring a blueprint.

Why is this a troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839290)

The parent raises a serious criticism.

I agree with it.

I'm not saying a space elevator isn't feasible, but this stunt doesn't demonstrate anything either way.

Hell, people have scaled buildings taller than that, and that doesn't mean they can just climb their way to outer space.

I say to the team that did this, keep trying, and good work with your dreams. But I also say that this doesn't really demonstrate anything in terms of an actual space elevator.

Just a question from a Norwegian (5, Funny)

hyfe (641811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839244)

When article mentions driving snowstorm, this does actually mean a driving snowstorm with lots of snow and cold and wind and more snow and everybody trying to stay inside?

Or does it mean that it was fairly windy, snowing abit and it totalling a couple of centimeters on the ground and people who had watched to many catastroph-movies lately bandied about in Libraries burning books and being faintly surprised about how little warmth it produced?

Re:Just a question from a Norwegian (2, Informative)

f0rtytw0 (446153) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839258)

Hardly a driving snow storm. Just a snowy day. We only got about four inches or so.

Re:Just a question from a Norwegian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839363)

When article mentions driving snowstorm, this does actually mean a driving snowstorm with lots of snow and cold and wind and more snow and everybody trying to stay inside?

Or does it mean that it was fairly windy, snowing abit and it totalling a couple of centimeters on the ground and people who had watched to many catastroph-movies lately bandied about in Libraries burning books and being faintly surprised about how little warmth it produced?


Remember, these are Americans. Their "Storm of the Century" from a few years ago would only qualify as "a heavy snow squall" anywhere that is used to snow. I suspect that a "driving snowstorm" was a light flury seen by some guy from the south.

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839252)

I can see my house from here!(tm)

I don't see this as very eventful or important. (5, Insightful)

i41Overlord (829913) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839271)

They're making this sound like it's a step towards achieving their goal, but really what they did today wasn't a stretch of the imagination like the final goal is.

If I claimed that I can jump to the Moon, you'd look at me like I was crazy, because the laws of physics would be completely in opposition to my claim (for example bones would shatter long before you could exert the force to jump even 50 feet). Now if I showed you that I could jump 3 feet, would that really convince you that I'm making progress towards my claim of jumping to the Moon?

To get back to this space elevator idea, climbing 260 feet is no big deal at all using cables that we have today. It's simple work. However, making a cable that is 30,000+ miles and able to support its own weight plus the weight of the payload is impossible with these cables. They'd need a material that doesn't yet exist.

The real hurdle in this project is not making the robot climb the short conventional cables that are readily available, the real hurdle is getting a hold of cables of unbelievable strength made of a substance that doesn't yet exist.

Re:I don't see this as very eventful or important. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839362)

Sorry, that's where you are incorrect (or so my undergrad physics lecturer would have us believe).

It is believe that a substance of suitable strength, durability, flexabilty, etc does exist - spider web.

Seriously, pound for pound it is considerably stronger than steel.

No problem (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839307)

They just need to put another 1218460.5384615384615384615384615 260 foot buildings on top.

Oh sure... (2, Funny)

Astadar (591470) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839308)

they SEEM to have made a prototype, but have they considered how they're going to get the muzak to be audible once they get into space?

I don't think so.

Remind me again (1)

steelem (694396) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839386)

Why the cables have to be constructed from carbon nanotubes? I know they are strong, but what is the strength exactly needed for? Thanks...

Can't resist.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839410)

1. Climb 260-foot building
2. ???
3. Build space elevator
4. PROFIT!!!

Photos of the robot! also height=290 feet (4, Informative)

TomNugent (831822) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839437)

Wow, I wasn't expecting my blog post to get /.'d. I was dead tired from the day of the test, and just wanted to get some info online for anyone who was curious. Sorry for not getting more details or photos up sooner.

BTW, the height of the building our robot climbed is 290 feet, not 260. Not a huge difference, but I wanted to correct the error in the original /. post.

After seeing more than a half-dozen comments on my blog post right after being slashdotted tonight, I got real motivated to get the pictures up ASAP. You can now see pictures of the day at http://www.liftport.com/gallery/MITdemo_2004Nov [liftport.com]

As funny as... (1)

Vombatus (777631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839440)

A fart in an elevator.

I'm glad I didn't go with 'Able to leap tall buildings...'

Or even 'Wait around for hours, and 2 elevators arrive at once... going the wrong way'

need.... more.... coffee....
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