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

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Charles says:

      What do you mean fat people bottom floor only? You mean require companies to have people over a certain weight work only on certain floors of buildings? Segregation, ever heard of it?

      Making your sentences short and abrupt doesn't make you sound as direct and intelligent as you might think. It makes you seem hasty and unintelligent. That coupled with your numerous misspellings makes me think you've been in the moronitary–sorry military. More likely, you're a deluded obese military nut with a bomb shelter who jacks off to gun porn.

      At best, your writing makes you sound stupid. At worst, well, just look in the mirror.

  • Kent says:

    Dunaunaunaunaunauna Batman!

  • Liana says:

    How do you not slam your feet on the ground, or be left dangling in the air?

  • Mats Borgkvist says:

    The device is marked with “Wire 150 m” on picture 3, long enough for most buildings.

  • Mats Borgkvist says:

    The device is marked with “Wire 150 m” on picture 3, long enough for most buildings.

  • I think that this is an expansive product. With fantastic applications, look at a control system and possible weight limits. My main concern with the product is its simplicity, it seems almost too good. key points such as the cable resting on an exposed and potentially sharp surface are not too high on the list as the spool is in the handset and therefore the wire would not rub. However the control mechanism and the stop/start functions perplex me. These can be resolved by setting them to an average height of 6ft 6" from the ground, therefore most you have only a small drop and would reduce the "ground smash effect".

    My next concern is to do with how the device would be attached to the building, Im assuming its not a batman shooting grappel claw, but due to the structural integrity of most office buildings today a wall would not be a practical attachment.

    Just food for thought, I am otherwise a huge fan of the concept and believe that this has a great deal of promice as a live saving device. Brilliant thinking, well done.

  • I think that this is an expansive product. With fantastic applications, look at a control system and possible weight limits. My main concern with the product is its simplicity, it seems almost too good. key points such as the cable resting on an exposed and potentially sharp surface are not too high on the list as the spool is in the handset and therefore the wire would not rub. However the control mechanism and the stop/start functions perplex me. These can be resolved by setting them to an average height of 6ft 6″ from the ground, therefore most you have only a small drop and would reduce the “ground smash effect”.

    My next concern is to do with how the device would be attached to the building, Im assuming its not a batman shooting grappel claw, but due to the structural integrity of most office buildings today a wall would not be a practical attachment.

    Just food for thought, I am otherwise a huge fan of the concept and believe that this has a great deal of promice as a live saving device. Brilliant thinking, well done.

  • Marcus says:

    This would be very cool, except that there are a few obvious design flaws.

    First the fact that not everyone is physically capable to use this device, ie; elderly, obese, really young, people with really large hands, or what if an amputee was trapped in the fire.

    Second, others using the device on other floors would end up getting tangled with other people going down.

    Third, there is not a motor small (including power source) enough that can quickly and safely lower a person. See Mythbusters.

    Fourth, it would only be able to use this device if the fire were on a floor above the user. Ever seen a building fire? Sometimes windows get blown out and the fire comes out the window. Not to mention that highrise buildings create a huge draft which would blow the person around like a kite on a string.

    Last, if there ever is a motor strong enough the expense would be far to great for the general market.

  • Situational Awareness says:

    An so you choose “dead not-a-super-hero”? Yours is not a very smart and thought through comment!

  • Situational Awareness says:

    “@Scott says” Blurts out the first thing that comes to his mind thus proving the point. 😉 I’m calling you out for not knowing what you’re talking about for claiming reuseability is “practically required” for a life saving product! Nonsense.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not going to point out the obvious flaws and/or shortcomings with respect to this design, since this has already be done in the comments.

    Instead, I’d like to note that it simply saddens me to see that some people who consider themselves (future) industrial designers spend time, money, and effort on things like this (or are allowed to do so by educational institutions). And this isn’t the first time I see such a thing on a design blog.

    Please, focus on things that are (or might be) possible and practical; we don’t need your dreamed up, impractical designs; we’ve got four-year-old kids with crayons for that. And for the love of humanity: get someone to check your grammar.

  • toots says:

    Fat people bounce!

  • Jimmy C says:

    Wow. Some of you guys can be real jerks.
    Final word: Great idea, needs some tweaks. That’s why we have this website. You who are pulling this poor man down just becauseyou think the design is impractical, so what? If you guys can’t be professional and leave bullying out of this, then you shouldn’t be here.
    Guys, I’m only fifteen years old. With all due respect, it shames me that I have to be the voice of reason in the matter.

  • Mat says:

    This is great;
    the concept,
    the design,
    the name.

    XD

  • sam says:

    did it say “for when some huge airplane crashes into the building you’re in”?? -__-

  • mk says:

    generation scared

  • Sarafina says:

    best response ever. great logic couldnt have said i better.

  • Buster says:

    Myth busters showed that there were problems with building an ascender. Though Jamie’s worked quite well. His problem was lacking a release mechanism for going down. Adam had problems with a grapple design that would shoot an arrow/harpoon head into concrete solid enough to secure a line to.

    As to a strong enough mechanism… we use them all the time in the real world. We call them fishing reels. A fishing reel can have variable drag setting that would allow most any speed decent for most any weight category. A bit of designing could probably come up with something both automatic and simple in function and design.

    Very strong lines can be made that are incredibly strong, durable, and since you are not holding onto the line, okay to be thin… Though probably best if very visible (like flourescent) and not razor thin.

    Since the lines themselves are stationary and not sliding as pointed out, not only do they not rub on sharp edges, the are not very prone to tangling. This is much as the real world application of the lines used in the military to pull the ripcords of chutes of troops exiting cargo/troop planes. Sorry but I forgot th name for the long straps that the troops all attach to a rail before jumping. Anyway, there is no issue with those straps tangling since they do not slide across each other.

    More problematic are similar problems that arise if you use an elevator during a fire. That of passing a floor that is on fire or potentially going to explode. …sometimes quick egress is of greater importance… Sometimes you can’t count on stairs or elevators. If the cables are robust enough, perhaps the decrease in time passing through the danger zone might make it feasabl? Though fire doors do protect you from a lot in many fires.

    I think addition of a simple foot strap to the descender, similar to footstraps on ascenders, would be a great addition. One or two styrrups for the feet an a handle for the free hand.

    But… Attachment points? Retrofitted into the building I assume? Or? That was a downfall of the Mythbuster experiments.

    Buster

  • Buster says:

    So what if it is Photoshopped????? It isn’t a photo of the item in use, it is a diagram of how it is to be used as well as an image of what it would look like or could look like, isn’t it? Gee whiz… I expect that a blog post about improving an image using photoshop would have these inane “photoshopped” comments as if it were a faked pboto of Sasquatch.

  • AJ says:

    LOL! I love your response ting.

  • MIK says:

    Thats a great idea. I’m not obese or afraid to use that thing, so I think its brilliant. Anyone who wants to burn to death is welcome to stay behind, ha ha, see ya later

  • MIK says:

    I RESPECT YOUR OPINION

  • Mukundhan says:

    Not a good design. The distance traveled cant be very long. chances of shoulder dislocation in case of weak arms.
    There are some more design issues and considerations left out…

    Not a very good design.

  • magenh says:

    How does it have enough wire? What if you’re in a 100 story building? Is every one of these made with a certain amount of wire depending on the floor you’re on? How do you control the speed of descent? Do fat people get one for each hand or will you make a chair type thing?

  • berv says:

    senario…your kitchen is on fire…the wall that the rapunzel is attached to is in the kitchen and also catches fire. the wall crumbles…bye bye passenger

  • Grant says:

    going by they pictures it looks like it is good for a descent of 150 meters

  • jennifer says:

    Great idea but not for us big people.

  • Jonathan Collins says:

    Possible Improvement: pigtail gear on the motor(or hand release) end. it will be more resistant to being forced to turn under a lot of weight. Im not sure if it’s actually called that, but its essentially a screw, used for turning gears.

  • Shapewear says:

    How long would this descend and what is the maximum weight it can carry?

  • Paul says:

    Probably the same things that stop most people from doing stupid things..precautions..consequences.Have you driven a car lately??

  • Robert says:

    A good idea actually.

    Run your mouths when the heat of the fire is melting your sneakers because you cannot find a way out of the building.

    My concern is that if the device firmly grips your wrist…what happens if there is a malfunction?
    Is there an emergency release so that you are not tethered or handcuffed to the building?

  • 479sam says:

    But most people don’t want to burn alive…

  • Amadeus says:

    That will be a problem.

  • is there anything more to make the world a better place

  • ok_299 says:

    You notice the S at the top of the thing? There’s probably many sizes.

  • Laura says:

    Hands down, I’ll buy it when it’s available.

  • Klock says:

    Its for emergencies. It only has to be worn for a few minute while you descend from a burning building which you otherwise could not escape. Its wasn’t designed to look cool, it was designed to save people.

  • John Lem says:

    You mean “break” their wrist.

  • In theory it’s a good idea. Thanks for the post.

  • Jo says:

    Great idea, even if it doesn’t live up to expectations it’s great that we still have people thinking outside the square in an attempt to improve humanity. As for hurting your wrist, well most people have two hands, you could always try a novel idea and use your other hand to grip over the unit. I’d personally take a sore wrist over burning to death. Obese people? Lose weight, problem solved.

  • Andrew says:

    As someone with a bit of high angle rescue experience, I would say that a belt would be a good addition. A simple 2-in webbing with a self locking buckle attached to the device with a steel cable or nylon line would provide an exceptional degree of redundancy. This way the person can still be lowered when incapacitated without risk of wrist injury and regardless of obesity.

  • Anthony rieke says:

    I’m 130lbs overweight. I’ll take the hurt wrist. This looks like a great concept.

Comments are closed.