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Up the round escalator.

For more than 80 years, escalators have been going straight up or straight down. Now, in time for the opening of Expo '85 this week in Tsukuba, Japan, a Japanese shopping mall is getting a newly designed escalator that takes a longer, semicircular path to the top. This escalator easily turns a corner.

Engineers at the Mitsubishi Electric Industrial Corp. took almost three years to design the product. So that the drive chains connecting the steps could twist, ball bearings were put between the links. The steps had to be shallower toward the inside of the curve but sill comfortable for passengers. Meeting these constraints required hours of computer calculations and numerically controlled tools to fashion each of the steps individually.
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Title Annotation:semicircular design for Japanese escalator
Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 23, 1985
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