Escape Route Number 2

You can easily mistake the Rapunzel for a canister, instead its an easy-to-use safety-descending device. Designed by SADI student Sin Sun Ho, this safety line can be used in highrise buildings. You more or less have to glide down the side of a wall (Batman style), holding onto its secure wrist capsule design.

Rapunzel is a 2010 Red Dot Concept Award Winning Entry.

Designer: Sin Sun Ho

144 Comments

  • lawrence s roberts says:

    How far can one descend? Suitable for the twin towers?
    How long is the descent good for.

  • lawrence s roberts says:

    How far can one descend? Suitable for the twin towers?
    How long is the descent good for.

  • Pedro says:

    Lol … not a very smart and thought through design … Not everyone wants to be a super Hero …

  • Pedro says:

    Lol … not a very smart and thought through design … Not everyone wants to be a super Hero …

  • Cris says:

    what about obese people? isn't that ride going to hurt their wrists??

  • Cris says:

    what about obese people? isn't that ride going to hurt their wrists??

  • Truthiness says:

    After someone has descended down the building does the Rapunzel retract back to the top so someone else can use it? What's to stop some idiot from using it for fun, or for when the elevators are taking too long?

    • Daemion says:

      … what's to prevent idiots from using stored firehoses inside office buildings? or from setting off the fire sprinklers with their lighters? or using the outdoor fireladders when the elevator is taking too long?

      • Mark says:

        I would just like to say I would personally purchase a rapunzel for recreational use.

  • Truthiness says:

    After someone has descended down the building does the Rapunzel retract back to the top so someone else can use it? What's to stop some idiot from using it for fun, or for when the elevators are taking too long?

    • Daemion says:

      … what's to prevent idiots from using stored firehoses inside office buildings? or from setting off the fire sprinklers with their lighters? or using the outdoor fireladders when the elevator is taking too long?

      • Mark says:

        I would just like to say I would personally purchase a rapunzel for recreational use.

    • uhh duhhhhhh says:

      same thing that stops idiots from busting open fire extinguishers or calling 911 or pulling fire alarms 'for fun'. common sense, a little enforcement, and a lack of people like you waiting around for someone else's good idea to fail.

  • JJ Delaney says:

    lets look at the positives of this: its a fantastic concept! inspiring stuff!

    • tristan d says:

      i agree.

      though if not for the public but, say, the military, in oil rigs and industrial sites where the guys there can handle the "fun" of escaping.

      also the cable spool should be at the other end.

  • JJ Delaney says:

    lets look at the positives of this: its a fantastic concept! inspiring stuff!

    • tristan d says:

      i agree.

      though if not for the public but, say, the military, in oil rigs and industrial sites where the guys there can handle the “fun” of escaping.

      also the cable spool should be at the other end.

  • R D says:

    Awesome idea ! Too Good ! Improvements like Retraction (for reuse) and descent length could make these practical solution. Stuntmen in movies already use something like this, but applying it to emergency fire situations is a brilliant idea.

  • R D says:

    Awesome idea ! Too Good ! Improvements like Retraction (for reuse) and descent length could make these practical solution. Stuntmen in movies already use something like this, but applying it to emergency fire situations is a brilliant idea.

  • tweakie says:

    Good concept, when escaping a burning building anything is better than free-fall.

    I think the cable drum would need to be a lot larger diameter, even to descend just two floors, the speed retarder needs to be a lot stronger design (both the spindle and gear mesh) and probably the outer body needs to be made from one piece to ensure integrity.

    I know it's very easy to be critical when I am perhaps not even smart enough to have thought of the idea in the first place but personal safety must always take precedence over design.

  • tweakie says:

    Good concept, when escaping a burning building anything is better than free-fall.

    I think the cable drum would need to be a lot larger diameter, even to descend just two floors, the speed retarder needs to be a lot stronger design (both the spindle and gear mesh) and probably the outer body needs to be made from one piece to ensure integrity.

    I know it's very easy to be critical when I am perhaps not even smart enough to have thought of the idea in the first place but personal safety must always take precedence over design.

  • dorian says:

    dislocated and ripped shoulder cartilage and tendons == lawsuits.
    make it at least 2 handed. a swingseat, a harness, anything better than dangling an out-of-shape office worker by the arm only for it to twist like a twizzler, I can easily see an obese person's arm ripping off once dislocated. yucky mess to clean up, both physically on the ground and in courtroom litigation.

  • dorian says:

    dislocated and ripped shoulder cartilage and tendons == lawsuits.
    make it at least 2 handed. a swingseat, a harness, anything better than dangling an out-of-shape office worker by the arm only for it to twist like a twizzler, I can easily see an obese person's arm ripping off once dislocated. yucky mess to clean up, both physically on the ground and in courtroom litigation.

  • Aubrey says:

    I think this is a great concept.

    @Tweakie, thanks for providing some constructive feedback.

    @lawrence, pedro, cris; just pointing out the first negative thing that comes to mind is a bad habit. This isn't a real product, its a concept.

    The idea is great if you ask me. I work in a high rise building and would appreciate at least SOME level of emergency escape other than the stairs. Sure its going to need tweaks if it ever comes to fruition.

    @Truthiness; I think the reusable idea is a super cool suggestion. That would reduce the number you needed per building.

  • Aubrey says:

    I think this is a great concept.

    @Tweakie, thanks for providing some constructive feedback.

    @lawrence, pedro, cris; just pointing out the first negative thing that comes to mind is a bad habit. This isn't a real product, its a concept.

    The idea is great if you ask me. I work in a high rise building and would appreciate at least SOME level of emergency escape other than the stairs. Sure its going to need tweaks if it ever comes to fruition.

    @Truthiness; I think the reusable idea is a super cool suggestion. That would reduce the number you needed per building.

    • scott says:

      You obviously don't know how to develop an idea effectively.

      Pointing out the first negative thing that comes to mind is exactly what you should be doing to work out the flaws in a product. And you don't wait until it's a real product to do so; you do it while it's a concept.

      Also, reusability isn't just a “super cool suggestion.” It's practically required for a product like this. In a perfect world, everything would be reusable.

      Don't pretend to know what you're talking about. You'll get called on it.

  • Stone_Rhino says:

    Why would you even put the spool in the device itself?

    You could feed a much longer and thicker cable from the source and accomplish the same goal.

    • tweakie says:

      Now that, I think, is an idea well worth further consideration.

    • Sakkis says:

      Putting the spool in the device itself is actually a god idea. You make sure there`s no moving parts where the next hysterical person is grabbing hold of the device, trying to pull it back up. Need more thread? Make the device slightly larger for high-rise buildings. Also, a harsness is complicated and slow. Like the idea that you can grab and jump πŸ™‚

      So, a few hurt wrists = a few lives spared. This would be used as a last resort anyway. Most (fat) people would probably take the stairs unless it was a critical situation.

  • Stone_Rhino says:

    Why would you even put the spool in the device itself?

    You could feed a much longer and thicker cable from the source and accomplish the same goal.

    • tweakie says:

      Now that, I think, is an idea well worth further consideration.

    • Sakkis says:

      Putting the spool in the device itself is actually a god idea. You make sure there`s no moving parts where the next hysterical person is grabbing hold of the device, trying to pull it back up. Need more thread? Make the device slightly larger for high-rise buildings. Also, a harsness is complicated and slow. Like the idea that you can grab and jump πŸ™‚

      So, a few hurt wrists = a few lives spared. This would be used as a last resort anyway. Most (fat) people would probably take the stairs unless it was a critical situation.

  • broccoli89 says:

    It's a cool idea. Though only older buildings with poor egress designs that don't meet current requirements would benefit from a device like this. Very intriguing still. Wouldn't windows need to be able to open or they would have to be smashed out to use it? Also what about people using them on floors above yours and below yours? Even with my skepticism if they were produced for individual use, just attach to a support column, and were reasonably priced I wouldn't mind keeping one with me when in a high-rise. Just in case.

  • broccoli89 says:

    It's a cool idea. Though only older buildings with poor egress designs that don't meet current requirements would benefit from a device like this. Very intriguing still. Wouldn't windows need to be able to open or they would have to be smashed out to use it? Also what about people using them on floors above yours and below yours? Even with my skepticism if they were produced for individual use, just attach to a support column, and were reasonably priced I wouldn't mind keeping one with me when in a high-rise. Just in case.

  • copperncherrio says:

    Hahaha, it's a safety device in the guise of a superhero gadget.

  • copperncherrio says:

    Hahaha, it's a safety device in the guise of a superhero gadget.

  • JOe says:

    I love when art people design stuff. Stumbled!

  • JOe says:

    I love when art people design stuff. Stumbled!

  • carboncanyon says:

    Hmmm… clean aesthetics, interesting concept.

    What if someone has really big hands? Or really small hands (like a child)? Can this design handle both? Maybe a padded strap that goes under both arms would work better? A concept for use in emergency situations such as this needs the ability to handle the broadest possible group.

  • carboncanyon says:

    Hmmm… clean aesthetics, interesting concept.

    What if someone has really big hands? Or really small hands (like a child)? Can this design handle both? Maybe a padded strap that goes under both arms would work better? A concept for use in emergency situations such as this needs the ability to handle the broadest possible group.

  • YoJO says:

    I think putting the spool and gears at the other end wouldn't work since the friction of the cable along the edge would probably lead to cable failure or the cable snagging altogether.
    A little elbow grease and some more thought will make this a popular product in most of Asia and middle eastern countries. In Canada, USA and Europe there are too many over-weight people who would be hurt by using this device.

  • YoJO says:

    I think putting the spool and gears at the other end wouldn't work since the friction of the cable along the edge would probably lead to cable failure or the cable snagging altogether.
    A little elbow grease and some more thought will make this a popular product in most of Asia and middle eastern countries. In Canada, USA and Europe there are too many over-weight people who would be hurt by using this device.

  • Kevin says:

    With a few tweaks, this idea could work for a low-rise building, only a couple of stories tall. Only one arm is definitely too dangerous, and if you let go, the wrist grip would do serious damage on the bones in your hand and wrist, depending on how much you weigh. You also have to weigh in the fact that any wind would cause people to sway like pendulums, and larger heights mean larger pendulum length, meaning that people could swing into the building at velocities that could do serious damage.

    Really, the best way this idea could be implemented would be to mimic belaying done by rock climbers.

  • Kevin says:

    With a few tweaks, this idea could work for a low-rise building, only a couple of stories tall. Only one arm is definitely too dangerous, and if you let go, the wrist grip would do serious damage on the bones in your hand and wrist, depending on how much you weigh. You also have to weigh in the fact that any wind would cause people to sway like pendulums, and larger heights mean larger pendulum length, meaning that people could swing into the building at velocities that could do serious damage.

    Really, the best way this idea could be implemented would be to mimic belaying done by rock climbers.

  • mojorolla says:

    No mention of securing it or anchoring it. Simply put it on and jump out the window!!!!

  • mojorolla says:

    No mention of securing it or anchoring it. Simply put it on and jump out the window!!!!

  • @usethisidea says:

    This could really save lives. It's a fantastic concept that if implemented today could easily start saving lives tomorrow. It would also be very welcome in the toolkit of emergency services of all sorts, from firefighters to coast guard and beyond.

    This device needs two models:

    – An industrial or "high rise" model that spools from the source – probably a dedicated emergency escape point on each floor, and can be respooled quickly and easily from the source.

    – A personal model much like the design shown above but with a stronger, reinforced mechanism and enough spooled cable to decend at least three stories

    Both models need to:
    – Accomodate large hands by opening up the device
    – Reduce stress on the wrist. I recommend a heavy duty sling that is attached to the device that wraps around the wearers upper arm from elbow to armpit and can be adjusted for length – if designed properly it would promote good form (a 90 degree angle of the arm) minimizing the danger to the shoulder joint and would provide a good place for the second arm to grip if need be.

  • @usethisidea says:

    This could really save lives. It's a fantastic concept that if implemented today could easily start saving lives tomorrow. It would also be very welcome in the toolkit of emergency services of all sorts, from firefighters to coast guard and beyond.

    This device needs two models:

    – An industrial or “high rise” model that spools from the source – probably a dedicated emergency escape point on each floor, and can be respooled quickly and easily from the source.

    – A personal model much like the design shown above but with a stronger, reinforced mechanism and enough spooled cable to decend at least three stories

    Both models need to:
    – Accomodate large hands by opening up the device
    – Reduce stress on the wrist. I recommend a heavy duty sling that is attached to the device that wraps around the wearers upper arm from elbow to armpit and can be adjusted for length – if designed properly it would promote good form (a 90 degree angle of the arm) minimizing the danger to the shoulder joint and would provide a good place for the second arm to grip if need be.

  • Jelle says:

    This is brilliant, sometimes, when there is a big fire, you can't put it out, and it is better to escape,
    second, there are a number of rapunzels present equal to the people in the building, zo nobody has to jump or stay.
    Third, I am pretty sure, an obese whil risk a very painfull wrest above death by burn. and if they don't, bad luck, better 20 people saved and 1 dead because he is obese above 21 dead.

    I just hope the rope is long enough but i am sure they won't instal them if the rope is to short.
    A apoligize for my English, its my third language.

  • Jelle says:

    This is brilliant, sometimes, when there is a big fire, you can't put it out, and it is better to escape,
    second, there are a number of rapunzels present equal to the people in the building, zo nobody has to jump or stay.
    Third, I am pretty sure, an obese whil risk a very painfull wrest above death by burn. and if they don't, bad luck, better 20 people saved and 1 dead because he is obese above 21 dead.

    I just hope the rope is long enough but i am sure they won't instal them if the rope is to short.
    A apoligize for my English, its my third language.

  • Alex Groh says:

    I think people have pointed out a lot of the obvious flaws and bonuses here, but I think it is important to consider the reality of materials and means, even if we're talking about concepts. Industrial design is after all about applied design, with the eventual intent of your design being for consumer use. Part of being a designer is addressing the flaws in a design, and improving on them. To me, this looks like the designer either ignored those flaws or didn't get a good critique before completing the idea stage of the design process.

  • Alex Groh says:

    I think people have pointed out a lot of the obvious flaws and bonuses here, but I think it is important to consider the reality of materials and means, even if we're talking about concepts. Industrial design is after all about applied design, with the eventual intent of your design being for consumer use. Part of being a designer is addressing the flaws in a design, and improving on them. To me, this looks like the designer either ignored those flaws or didn't get a good critique before completing the idea stage of the design process.

  • Joe says:

    Photoshopped.

  • Joe says:

    Photoshopped.

  • Joe says:

    why are all designs on here not even remotely thought through? "form beyond function", eh? yeah… i can see that…

  • Joe says:

    why are all designs on here not even remotely thought through? “form beyond function”, eh? yeah… i can see that…

    • scott says:

      agreed. Then again, that's probably why none of this exists. It wouldn't work/wouldn't be practical.

      I've stumbled upon far too many posts from this site and all of them have either had no practical application, or a better device already exists.

  • matt says:

    Hi, I am an abseiling window cleaner working on high rise buildings in the city of Sydney. Great idea.. might need some work.
    That amount of cable in the handle would be enough for a two maybe three story building."Cable spool at other end" Tristan d.
    It would need a swinging arm or something from the building so the cable hangs freely and did not rest on a sharp edge.
    A ski lift t-bar hanging from the bottom may make it more comfortable.
    Not many people are happy to step off the edge of a building, people would freeze up and slow things down if there was a queue.
    A fixed line down the side of a building with a device that runs along it would stop the wind twisting and tangling the cable with other cables.
    otherwise i likey

  • matt says:

    Hi, I am an abseiling window cleaner working on high rise buildings in the city of Sydney. Great idea.. might need some work.
    That amount of cable in the handle would be enough for a two maybe three story building.”Cable spool at other end” Tristan d.
    It would need a swinging arm or something from the building so the cable hangs freely and did not rest on a sharp edge.
    A ski lift t-bar hanging from the bottom may make it more comfortable.
    Not many people are happy to step off the edge of a building, people would freeze up and slow things down if there was a queue.
    A fixed line down the side of a building with a device that runs along it would stop the wind twisting and tangling the cable with other cables.
    otherwise i likey

  • The device is clearly marked with an "S" for small. It would make sense to make several sizes for different sized hands. And several lengths and strengths of cable. Good idea!

  • The device is clearly marked with an “S” for small. It would make sense to make several sizes for different sized hands. And several lengths and strengths of cable. Good idea!

  • Scott says:

    what if there's a malfunction and the locking mechanism gets stuck? You're stuck tethered to a burning building and possibly being retracted back upward when it goes back for the next passenger?

  • Mike says:

    Wow. First, i agree with critique. That is how an idea grows and develops. Second, you need a free hand to exit from a window and assist in your free fall by pushing away from the building. If there was an extra exterior handle as a grip for use in an open fall, this would be a great assist to the stress on the hanging one handed person waiting for rescue. Third, cable length. Yes, figure it out. and as previously mentioned, the building can pre-install custom escape windows with the amount of these repels per office personal quantity. Know what it looks like when troops hook up and jump from a plane? Same idea, with slow-stop mechanism till rapunzl kicks in and drops you to a safe area. Forth, Fat people, easy, bottom floor only. Fifth, Malfunction? exterior emergency release. Six, seat, or sling, you'll end up with a bunch of hung people. Maybe, only maybe a foot stirrup. Last: Seven. How about a simple cable, length based on fall, drops from window, rapunzle attached at top with slow decent mecanism inside. Or, invent the rapunzle-shoot Just jump and it self deploys like the troops.

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