Technology 3 min read

Willy Wonka's 'Sideways' Elevator is now a Reality!

The ThyssenKrupp Multi prototype is the first all-direction elevator, and if it passes inspection in the next two years, Willy Wonka will want a cut.

ThyssenKrupp Multi Elevator

ThyssenKrupp Multi Elevator

Elevator company ThyssenKrupp has created an elevator that moves not only up and down but in all directions!

Remember Willy Wonka’s epic elevator from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie? The one that works not just vertically but also horizontally? Well, it appears that the said lift is no longer a science fiction.

ThyssenKrupp, an elevator company based in the United Kingdom has developed Multi, the world’s first rope-free elevator. Much like the standard lift, Multi is a car designed to transport people from one floor to another. What sets it apart though is that it will have tracks that can rotate and will allow the car to move in different directions.

How the ThyssenKrupp Multi Elevator Works

For Multi, ThyssenKrupp has eliminated the cables typically found in regular elevators. Instead, the company used magnetic levitation, the same technology found in high-speed trains and the proposed HyperLoop.

#ThyssenKrupp invented #Multi. The first-ever 'sideways' elevator!Click To Tweet

Multi cars are equipped with strong magnets that will work with a magnetized coil running along the elevator hoistway’s guide rails to make the cars float. Magnetic fields strong enough to pull the cars in different directions are created every time the coils turn.

ThyssenKrupp Multi track transfer system |

Multi moves through exchangers which act as sophisticated railway switches that guide the car in various directions. The slings in every car will enable it to shift direction while ensuring that the car is leveled with the ground.

Multi aims to move people as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, it will not be about speed. ThyssenKrupp’s new elevator can only move 1,000 to 1,400 feet per minute, a lot slower than the 1,968 feet per minute of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

ThyssenKrupp believes that the key to the fast transportation of people within a building lies with increasing the elevator’s efficiency. Multi can increase its volume and improve its efficiency by letting cars file up in every floor without overloading the system. If a car appears to block another car, it can move out of the way by just going left or right.

Patrick Bass, the CEO of ThyssenKrupp, said:

“You can manage a traffic grid like you would a subway. We can guarantee a cabin will be at that floor every 30 seconds.”

Aside from the capability to move in different directions, Multi’s real selling point is its ability to facilitate far more complex buildings. Meaning, it can be installed anywhere, including the perimeter. This is a huge plus factor that will eliminate the need for architects to design their building around elevator shafts which, normally, can compromise 40 percent of the building’s core.

Bass envisions a future where buildings are less self-contained and more connected with its environment. He added:

“You’ll no longer see this hard division between how you get to a building and how you are transported within a building.”

ThyssenKrupp is now working on a full-sized working prototype of Multi in its ‘elevator test tower’ in Rottweil, Germany. The construction is set to be completed in the next two years. The said test tower will serve as the basis for inspection and certification that will open the door to Multi’s real-life application.

Are you excited to ride this ‘futuristic’ elevator? Let us know what you think about the ThyssenKrupp Multi the comment section below!

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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