Star Trek-Esque ‘Turbolift’ Elevator Could Aid Those With Physical Disabilities

When I think of stairlifts, I instantly think of the movie Gremlins. In one rather hilarious scene, a Gremlin damages a stairlift, causing its to malfunction, which ends up launching the evil Mrs. Deagle out a second story window.

Stairlifts are a handy aid for those that can’t physically navigate stairs without the help of others, but than can be an unsightly addition to your home decor. One English company, however, is using technology to do away with stair-based mobility systems in favor of one that more closely resembles an elevator (or a Star Trek Turbolift to the eyes of some). Terry Lifts has designed the Lifestyle Lift that can be installed into a corner of a room (installation takes four to five days). Once installed, the lift can easily transport two people up or down a floor.

Lifestyle LiftLifestyle Lift

More importantly, this futuristic elevator can be used in homes that would have proven too difficult to install a stairlift. “People don't want, in many cases, a chair-lift on their beautiful staircase and they don't necessarily want a lift,” said Terry Lifts spokesman John McSweeney in an interview with Reuters. “Unlike a stairlift which is a permanent feature on your staircase, the lift can be sent away when you don't need it - so it's never the elephant in the room.”

Another plus is the fact that the Lifestyle Lift can be sent off to an unoccupied floor when it’s not needed. Need extra room downstairs when you’re partying it up with your BINGO pals? Send it upstairs. Need more room in your upstairs bedroom when it comes nighttime? Fine, send it downstairs, freeing up precious living space.

Now before you go envisioning some Gremlins-esque mishaps with the Lifestyle Lift, it has a number of safety features built-in to prevent accidents. The bottom of the elevator has a micro-switch which can detect objects that it could potentially crush.

So rest assured that your old and deaf dog won’t meet an untimely end if he falls asleep under the elevator should you decide to “go downstairs” for a late night snack.