Imagine a world in which elevators did not require ropes or cables

Ronald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one book, but a sequel called The Great Glass Elevator is where in the movie Charlie explores his world from the air in a super-advanced elevator that moves in any direction, but requires no cables.

Clearly the engineers at Thyssen Krup were inspired by Dahl’s tale of a boy who one day discovered all his dreams had come true, as they have announced proof of concept for a cable-less elevator that moves both vertically and horizontally. Inhabitat’s Lacy Cooke has more:

The elevator was invented over 160 years ago, and engineering firm ThyssenKrupp evidently thinks it’s time to shake things up a bit. They’ve designed the MULTI: a rope-less horizontal-vertical system that’s drawn comparisons to Willy Wonka’s crazy sideways-moving elevator. And now they’ve brought their designs from paper into the real world at an 807-foot-high test tower in Rottweil, Germany.

ThyssenKrupp’s technology allows multiple elevator cabins to run in a loop – “like a metro system inside a building,” according to the firm. And no cables or ropes are necessary; the cars move due to a magnet-based drive system as might be found in Maglev trains. The test tower boasts 12 test shafts, with cars that can travel as rapidly as 59 feet per second.

Here is a video from Thyssen Krup demonstrating the technology: