This week marked the opening of the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai. On the first weekend they had their first hiccup, a stalled elevator ride on the way up to the 124th floor. The stall itself is not what fascinated me, but the amount of technology behind the elevators in the building and technology behind elevators. They have a come a long way since the days of having a manual elevator operator that was responsible for making sure that riders were carried efficiently to their respective floors.
While I understood and had spent some time on resource scheduling of elevators in college in an Artificial Intelligence class I took, I did not realize the amount of active research that was taking place. To me an elevator is pretty simple, you have a number of people on one floor trying to get to respective other floors and you need to make sure that is done efficiently.
NPR has an article on their website about the technology behind the Dubai 57 elevators and elevators in general. So, next time you are in an elevator remember that there is a lot more to that ride, then just pressing a button and waiting for the doors to open and close.