Levitating buildings rise above deadly earthquakes

The Air Danshin System enables structures to float on a cushion of air the moment it detects ground vibrations.

The problem with having to build buildings on solid ground is that it makes them susceptible to damage from earthquakes. But how else are you going to do it? It's not like you can have them stand in mid-air.

Well, leave it to the clever architects and designers in Japan to devise a middle way wherein a levitation system enables structures to float on a cushion of air the moment it detects ground vibrations. Dubbed the Air Danshin System, the setup utilizes a network of motion sensors connected to an air compressor tank that pumps air into a contained space between the foundation and the actual home. This instantly creates a pocket of air dense enough to lift the structure 1.2 inches off the ground. All the while an indoor value keeps everything steady and balanced so the building can safely stay above the shaky ground beneath.

One advantage of using levitation technology is that installation is a third the cost of other earthquake-proof systems. So far, 88 homes across Japan have been retrofitted with the Air Danshin system, which roughly translates to anti-seismic. The company has plans to expand the technology to suit larger buildings like high-rise office building and condos.

While they obviously couldn't generate an earthquake to demonstrate the system's effectiveness, they did the next best thing by producing a video using people seated in chairs. As you can see, the woman on the levitating platform isn't exactly still as a statue, but isn't nearly as... err... rattled as the gentleman next to her.

(via Spoon and Tamago)

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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