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December 24, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Student's idea may save lives

LOCAL students have invented a mobile ladder which can "climb" buildings and may help firefighters who are trying to put out fires in high-rises.

The model ladder was displayed at the Seoul International Invention Fair 2010 this month and won much acclaim.

Firefighting in high-rise buildings has always been a problem as the ladders on current fire engines cannot reach higher than 20 stories.

Lu Wenchen, a 14-year-old student at Shixi Middle School, thought about how to make a ladder reach higher floors, following the -Jiaozhou Road building inferno on November 15.

"If the ladder can 'climb' like a centipede, fireman can take a fire hose to higher positions," he said.

He found that most storeys in local buildings are about 4 to 5 meters high, so he designed hooks, which can secure themselves to windowsills, the same distance apart on the ladder.

The device, which has an engine in the middle, moves upward on two belts which are similar in design to the tracks found on a tank.

Two wheels installed at either end of the rectangular metal ladder make the belts rotate. The hooks can grasp most protruding parts of a building and secure the ladder to the exterior and enable it to move upward.


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