Automatic doors that don't need electricity

Automatic doors that don't need electricity

TOKYO —

Since the big tsunami and nuclear plant disaster in Japan last year, the term “conserve electricity” (“setsuden”) has been in the forefront of everyone’s lexicon. It’s in this context that Yuki Corp brings us “Auto Door Zero”, a door that opens and closes automatically without electric power.

You walk up to the door like usual, step on a plate in front of the door, and voila, the door opens! You may notice that while you’re on the plate, you sink about 2 cm before the door opens. Yes, this door is powered by people’s body weight.

In Japan, no customer’s entry into a business would feel complete without an “Irasshaimase!!” coming at you from somewhere. That’s where Yuki Corp teamed up with Brother Enterprise to power an automated voice, taking advantage of the approximately 0.3 watts of electricity (enough power to light up about 20 LEDs) that one person’s weight on the door’s plate can generate. Other than a hearty audio welcome, of course the power can be used for other purposes, such as lighting up the area in the event of a blackout, etc.

Can you imagine all the hilarity during the beta-testing? Like the version where you need a never-ending chain of people, with one person holding the door open at any one time? Or where they timed how fast people could get through the door before it slid shut again?

Auto Door Zero has been put to use in an interesting way in the entertainment complex Shibuya Hikari, that opened in late April. The door has been set up in the employee restroom and been rigged so that, unless an employee actually goes through the steps of using the soap dispenser and running the water, the door won’t open to let them exit! Imagine all the other mischievous (or draconian) possibilities!

RocketNews24

  • 0

    Maria

    Yeeees... imagine the hilarity when a kid / shrunken elderly person can't enter or exit a building because s/he's too light. I am very curious what the minimum body weight required is. Fantastic invention if it works though - well done that (team of) inventor/s!

  • 0

    Dennis Bauer

    The ancient tomb builders will sue! :p so when will they put in a variant on the pedestrian walkway to power the lights. then again 2cm is enough for me to trip

  • 4

    kaminarioyaji

    Here's a radical idea - install doors that you push/pull to open; zero electricity there too.

    Of course, if "we Japanese are very polite" were actually true, there'd be no need for so many automatic doors here; when was the last time you saw a Japanese hold a door for the person behind them?

  • 1

    cactusJack

    Just wait until the patent trolls hear about this.

  • 0

    PeaceWarrior

    Does it open more quickly if you are really heavy? I can just imagine some of the Japanese girls I know going: "Open slowly, open slowly..." , Or, " Dear Junko, you have to something about the doors."

  • 1

    Jan Claudius Weirauch

    make all the streets like this or shibuya crossing, millions of people crossing and generating electricity!

  • 0

    Fadamor

    I'd be interested to see what something like The Shibuya crossing would do. It would generate a little "juice" not only when pedestrians step on them, but everytime a car drove over.

  • 0

    whateverz

    Here's a radical idea - install doors that you push/pull to open; zero electricity there too.

    Don't really care about those kids, the elderly, or anyone who suffer from physical handicaps, do you?

  • 0

    Sjaak Schulteis

    Great idea. Why not make floors, chairs and stairs with moving plates and store the energy somewhere. Even earthquakes could generate electricity and thus open doors...

  • 2

    zichi

    They could turn the sidewalks into generators so when people are walking a slight up and down motion generates power.

  • 0

    almxx

    With people power and traffic they probably could meet half the country's needs. The door is a great idea. Under the rule of the emperor Draco, the punishment for breaking any law, was death. The term is misused today.

  • -1

    SquidBert

    They could turn the sidewalks into generators so when people are walking a slight up and down motion generates power.

    This already exists in some places, have a look at: http://cleantechnica.com/2008/12/04/tokyo-train-station-testing-power-generating-floor/ There is also a dance floor with the same functionality somewhere....

    All the poor could be put in special houses with giant treadmills... three free meals of rice gruel a day, and voila! Well perhaps not exactly the poor, but there are now gyms in some places where energy is generated by special exercise machines.

    While this is all interesting, the laws of thermodynamics pretty much guaranty that it will be more efficient to extract that energy directly from the food energy (the grains used for the rice gruel) rather than taking the long route trough humans who wastes energy on all sorts of meaningless body functions. (Well at least until the Matrix is perfected, that is)

    Thermodynamics is a harsh mistress, who won't tolerate cheating.

    The first law of thermodynamics : You can never win.

    The second law of thermodynamics: You can't even break even.

  • 0

    SquidBert

    Again with the line feed problems:

    All the poor could be put in special houses with giant treadmills... three free meals of rice gruel a day, and voila!

    Well perhaps not exactly the poor, but there are now gyms in some places where energy is generated by special exercise machines.

    And another Idea just struck me as well. I Imagine a special form of Gulag for TEPCO execs where they can work of their debt to society by generating power by pedaling exercise bikes.

  • 0

    Foxie

    Gee, people have become so lazy!

  • 1

    zichi

    Foxie

    the old, the disabled, those in wheelchairs, the infirmed, young children, mothers carrying children, can all find it difficult opening heavy doors.

  • -1

    lrodriguezsosa

    Japan is cool.

  • -1

    cloa513

    Why should manual doors be heavy- its just a matter of putting them on level ground and good bearings like lift doors which are heavy but are on air bearings (floating) so they use very little electricity to open and close.

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