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Yes, you read that right. I assert we will need to miniaturize our products’ burden on buildings while having bigger experiences and faster delivery times which requires stronger materials. 

Remember Ironman’s super-cool digital screens inside his ocean-side lair? Well today, thyssenkrupp announced that our service technicians will use HoloLens technology in its elevator service operations worldwide.

There is no getting around it. If your building is two stories or hundreds of feet, you are going to need an elevator. You have to meet the American Disabilities Act codes but what you don’t need is a complicated elevator system to travel just a few feet.

The term “smart city” can be open to interpretation. Here are a few prerequisites established a few years ago.  A smart city uses technologies to be more intelligent and efficient when using resources.

thyssenkrupp is currently putting the finishing touches on the installation of 30 elevators and 2 escalators that will serve 52 floors at River Point, a new office tower located on a prime piece of property overlooking the Chicago River.


In this week’s blog, I am taking take a step into the future from the perspective of our country’s budding scientists. Why? Because last week, I joined nearly 365,000 other science enthusiasts at the 4th USA Science and Engineering Festival., in Washington D.C. The event is a huge science playground, where kids can get busy with experiments and inspried by some of the brightest scientists in the country.

I was blown away by the content. The amount of diversity on display, not only in area of study but also by type of institutional presence, would be valuable for every individual with a scientific soft spot to experience. What a great opportunity for our fledging scientists, (as I think back all those years ago in middle school) to get out of their desks and see the real-world applications first hand.

The festival had a ton to offer but the there was almost an overwhelming emphasis on robotics.  It was great to see the progress programming has made and how middle schoolers can convey their directives to a computer so it can perform the intended tasks. There is a lot of worry among parents these days about how much “screen time their children experience.  One compromising product I saw was a mini robot that can be programmed using good old fashioned paper and markers.  You simply draw the path where you want the robot to follow on paper with black marker.  This gives the robot the “go” command as well as directional information.  The company provides a color-coded reference chart which describes how the addition of short red, blue and/or green lines can modify robot behavior (turn around, speed up, slow down, etc.).  There are also a number of interactive apps that can accompany the robots. You can find out more on the company’s website here.

Another interesting discovery I made at the Festival was in the form of an innovative product that is applicable for our industry.  Named Bondic, it consists of a resin reservoir, applicator tip and Ultraviolet (UV) LED light.  This technology applies the basic science which drives stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing.  That is, the invention of liquid plastic which can be quickly hardened by exposure to UV light. Imagine an elevator service technician is at a jobsite changing a light bulb in a hall lantern.  As they remove the plastic lens/cover the brittle plastic ‘clip’ breaks off. Instead of being out of luck, they can pull out the plastic resin, apply a liberal amount at the base of the ‘clip’ and harden with the UV light.  This repair would save a ton of time and effort compared to ordering a completely new lens...not to mention the customer is happy because the aesthetics of the lobby are maintained. 

My big take away was that this festival will ignite the imagination of a lot of kids that will grow up thinking of 3D printing or augmented reality is just part of daily life.  Having four kids of my own, I am regularly reminded of the importance that education plays in the future of our country...even our world.  There can’t be scientific advances without interested young people willing to pick up the baton and run. Next year I hope to bring my oldest to the Festival and see what she has to say about it.  One thing about kids is for sure...we can always count on their brutal honesty) Until next time.

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