Hacker News Re-Imagined

Vertiwalk Vertical Walking

  • 883 points
  • 10 days ago

  • @hliyan
  • Created a post
  • • 179 comments

Vertiwalk Vertical Walking


@Borrible 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

So ladies, next try.

Will there be a version you can somehow integrate into a stair-case without much structural changes on or in the building?

Then you may outcompete stairlifts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stairlift

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@dudeinjapan 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I was at the Venice Biennale but I missed this! Did anyone see it?

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@emkoemko 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

get to the dang point... i wanted to see what it was but the video kept showing stuff that has nothing to do with what the topic, i gave up and left.

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@DoreenMichele 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Eighty centimeters is 31.5 inches, so a little over 2.5 feet. That's fairly compact.

Taking the stairs can be awful when you are impaired and falling down stairs just adds new injuries to your problems.

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@dwighttk 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

this seems cool...

I hope it is reliable mechanically. It is nice that no electricity is required.

I wonder if they could make an electric assist upgrade for people who get it installed when they are capable of using it and later become less capable.

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@Borrible 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I used to work a lot in health care. In the trenches as a simple grunt and later on in the etappe, IT. Lately still some work in BI for health insurance.

So pitch me, why should they fund it, when there are exoskeleton support systems in a lot of variety and price ranges I can use everywhere just around the corner?

I don't mean to be rude, but this is the type and tone of questions I sometimes get paid to ask.

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@Ntrails 8 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Unless I am missing something, it is basically the same theory as ascending a rope (typically climbing) but a really cool application

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@hbarka 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Would be interested in seeing how one would create the shaft required at home, as a DIY project.

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@DanielVZ 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

This reminds me a lot of a video of a retired man that uses his new free time moving large objects just by leveraging gravity. I can't find it right now but I think that there's a potential there for new ways movement just like the vertiwalk.

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@thanhhaimai 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I think Vertiwalk might be a solution for people who want to exercise. But if the main issue is to travel between floors, I think installing your own mini elevator might be a better solution. It doesn't take much more space, but it's fast and can carry the wheel chair with you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqMZfQODJZo

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@fijiaarone 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Wouldn't it make sense to call this the "verti-sit"

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@twelvechairs 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Incredible to see such a new device in a space where there has been little real invention in 100 years (since the elevator/lift).

I'm interested in the building code implications of this. I assume you can't replace a staircase with this due to fire egress requirements, and at the top you have to have some sort of complex gate (notably not shown in the video) to prevent people from falling off.

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@wolverine876 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

It's of those technologies so obvious, I don't understand why it's new. Often that signals genius or my ignorance:

Why now? Often the answer is, another tech's development enabled this one. Is that the case? They say here only:

> Vertical Walking is a new system to move yourself between floors in a building. By exploiting the potential of the human body and materials, only a fraction of effort is required, compared to taking stairs. No external energy is needed.

Maybe they use a capacitor? When going down, brakes store energy that supplements muscle power when going up? If that's the design, why not do it 20 or 40 years ago?

Perhaps it replaces stairs in constrained footprints, like dense urban housing, where stairs consume high proportions of space.

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@stuartbman 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I can see the use of this for neurological disease, but far and away the most common reason for a stairlift is frailty (or sarcopenia, to be more precise) along with other musculoskeletal conditions like osteoarthritis. Generally in sarcopenia you lose much more quadriceps strength, such that you find it difficult to stand up out of a chair, which is precisely the motion of how this is propelled. I'd therefore find this difficult to justify.

Secondly, stairlifts work because they are retrofitted into people's homes. This would require quite considerable changes to fit, and possibly loss of an upstairs room to make it work.

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@robbmorganf 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I love this idea, particularly empowering people to move without feeling like they need electrical assistance.

If this is to become a widespread product, I think it needs to address two linked issues: (a) the product appears to be tuned to the specific weight of an individual, so that the counterweights/springs are neutral in use. Changing between individuals (or changing weight should the individual gain/lose weight) should be easy to do and hopefully transparent. (b) the product can't be accessed if it is on a different floor. Without the weight of a user, if unlocked, it would skyrocket upwards. I don't want to lock into the paradigms of an elevator, but the user needs to be able to access the product even if another user moved it.

Unfortunately, the only thought I have to solve these issues is to electrify it, or perhaps a clever hydraulic system. In any case, I think with batteries, it need not consume power from the grid.

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@renewiltord 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Much better video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whk2o98zlpc

Literally worthless hero video on the linked site.

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@Eelongate 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

If the user has a medical emergency while between floors and is unable to continue using this device themselves, will it be easy/safe for responders to get them down?

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@wstrom 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

If you are from the south or a hunter - this is just an indoor tree stand - nothing new. I hope it helps people.

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@YetAnotherNick 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Squatting while climbing up does not sound fun to me. I think just providing something like geared pulley with 1:20 ratio will work and is much simpler. Just pull down the chain with bit of force and it will lift you up slowly.

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@JohnJamesRambo 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Can old people do this? I think my Mom and Dad would be terrified of this.

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@teddyh 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

This seems too unpowered to be the best option in places with reliable electric power, and for places without reliable electric power, this looks too complex to be reliably repaired without a service infrastructure. And if you have that, you probably have reliable electric power. In short, it looks like a solution looking for a problem.

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@kabdib 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I think I'd hate to have to rescue someone from a Vertiwalk when they're midway between floors and having a medical emergency.

I'm sure there's an accommodation for this, maybe a belay system somewhere, but I didn't spot one.

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@bborud 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Very, very interesting idea since this is probably easy to retrofit to houses that don't have room for elevators.

But I think the video does a poor job of marketing the product. Too much "storytelling", they spend too much time "laying pipe" and the payoff is marred by "artistic" shots where clarity would serve better.

And you can kind of understand how poorly the video is edited when the top comment is about the video not being scrub'able in that web page.

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@HeavyStorm 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Really curious why this made front page. I see nothing here revolutionary, just a crude solution with a lot of problems.

I have two people in my family who would benefit from this kind of product, and I don't see they using our anytime soon

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@kwhitefoot 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

There is another page with a bit more information and more pictures: https://www.rombout.design/verticalwalking.html

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@hettygreen 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Why would anyone ever start a company building a product that helps people?? This is lame. There's so much more money to be made harvesting user data, or raking in dumb VC money with fake promises.

These dudes actually have to deliver a product.. lol.

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@steve_adams_86 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

If you've been around a loved one who is at risk of a fall on stairs, or exhausted and weary from stairs due to age or disease, this apparatus's appeal is immediately clear.

When my mom was dying from brain cancer, her final days of mobility were an incredible strain for everyone. This would have made life a lot easier. If she had a seizure, at least she would be seated. If she got tired, taking a break wouldn't mean potentially falling and getting hurt.

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@joel_dice 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

This resembles ascending a rope using prusiks, which is a lot of fun if you haven't tried it. Great to see a variation the helps people with limited mobility to get around unassisted.

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@timwaagh 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

It has the feeling of a demo project although maybe revalidation centers could perhaps use them.

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@daveg222 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

This is an awesome idea. I wonder if it could be extended slightly as an alternative to stairs in small spaces.

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@adenozine 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Horrible landing page, poorly sized and video controls are bad.

Doesn't pass the BLUF test. If I can't figure the product out in five seconds, I'm leaving.

Shame.

I looked it up on YouTube, it's an interesting concept. I feel that direct vertical is probably more of a pain to renovate and maintain than a staircase in traditional housing. Curious to see what happens.

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@1cvmask 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I wonder if there any zoning rules in many parts of the world that prevent adoption of this. Also what would it end up costing (has to be less than an elevator). But I love the idea that it is a super simple solution to those with disabilities and looks like an easy install.

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@zhte415 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Looking for more information, I couldn't find any 'About' page on the website, came across this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqZJvRWQW5k from 5 years ago.

Same name and a Netherlands connection. SAme company?

The website vertiwalk.com was registered in 2016, around the date of this video. Did this come to market? It certainly looks useful.

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@playcache 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I can't help but think about what happens when the poor ladies arm strength starts to diminish from MS and she is left with the whole installation rigged into her home.

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@wiradikusuma 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I can't watch the video since Vimeo is blocked in my country, so I searched YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whk2o98zlpc

My questions (because the YouTube video doesn't show it):

1. What happens if the "chair" is at the opposite end? E.g. you're downstairs and want to go up but the "chair" is upstairs.

2. Is the step gap / velocity adjustable?

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@aaron695 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

First it's all about the pinch points and tangling and other safety like fire.

You have to assume children share the space for instance.

Then how useful practically. I guess you have two wheel chairs.

And how replaceable it is when your condition gets worse.

Interesting idea. I feel like once you pay for a builder you might not install something that simple.

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@Tempest1981 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Any way to carry small objects while ascending?

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@adolph 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Looks like they reinvented the paternoster except made it manually operated by use of one’s glutes and only one person can ride at a time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternoster_lift

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@punnerud 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Cool product, but Assistep seems like a simpler solution for the same problem https://assistep.com/

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@hellbannedguy 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I'm glad there are people looking for better ways to get around.

A lot of older people have bad knees.

I like the direction of this device, but put a motor in it.

(I think the whole point of handicapped devices is function, then cost, and even aesthetics.

My mom needs grab bars, etc., but still cares how it looks.)

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@coldtea 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

So scrollable video = I'm out in 5' seconds.

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@SilkRoadie 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

In small houses I have always thought that stairs take up so much space for something which is used a couple of times a day. I have always thought a vertical solution would be better. This isn’t that solution for a variety of reasons. It is nice to see innovation in this area though.

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@alan-crowe 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

I couldn't see the counter-weight. A counter-weight matched to the sole user (able-bodied take the stairs) would make a huge difference to the muscular effort involved in getting up and down.

This seems to be about halving the strength requirement because you can use both legs on every step, while also eliminating the balance and coordination requirements of climbing and descending stairs. Maybe that is all that is needed if some-one has had a stroke and falls just short of being able to use stairs. But I don't see it buying much time with a progressive condition.

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@mightybyte 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

This looks like a simple and elegant solution to a very real problem that affects lots of people's lives. But I can't help but think that in addition to the obvious upside of giving people a lot of autonomy, there's a significant downside here that should not be ignored. The flip side of making basic life activities easier is that if a person gets used to it, it can be pretty easy to slip into the complacency of relying on the device and actually never regain full normal function. I wonder if it would be feasible to augment that system with a leverage/resistance control that could be gradually changed. From my cursory look at the video it looks like there's some kind of mechanical leverage system in place (or at least there could be). Then a rehab schedule could start someone on, say, a 2x force multiplier and then gradually dial that back to 1x, and perhaps eventually < 1x which would then start to function as a strengthening / resistance training regimen.

I imagine this kind of graduated assistance/resistance feature would probably increase cost, complexity, and maintenance a meaningful amount. Question is, how much? Perhaps it might be worth it?

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@teraflop 10 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

In case anyone else was irritated by the inability to scrub through the auto-playing video, adding this CSS rule in your browser's dev tools should fix it:

    .vp-progress { display: block !important; }

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@newbie789 9 days

Replying to @hliyan 🎙

Have they invented elevators?

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