These Robot Legs Helped A Building ‘Walk’ To Its New Home
A building walking to a new location sounds like the beginning of a children’s book, but it is how a primary school has been relocated in a city in China.
In Shanghai, a primary school has been lifted and walked to a new location to make room for a commercial centre that is planned to be built in the area. In order to relocate the building, which was constructed in 1935, a series of hydraulic lifts were used to transport the building. While it may sound like Howl’s Moving Castle, the process was actually relatively slow because of the difficult task.
198 robotic legs were required to lift the building, and over the course of 18 days, the school was moved 62 metres. While this is clearly a slow process, the fact that the hydraulic legs could lift and move the school in a city is undoubtedly an impressive achievement.
These kinds of operations are usually done using side rails or flatbeds, but the unique shape of the school meant that these methods would not be applicable. Instead, the hydraulic legs were able to cater to the shape of the building and safely lift and move the school simultaneously.
It is unclear whether this practice will be repeated as it is clear that using side rails and flatbeds is a preferred option because of timescale. Nonetheless, for oddly shaped buildings that need moving, this may become an option that is revisited, as it was used to complete this relocation successfully.
The school is now set to have workers redecorate the building and make sure it is structurally sound before students return. Given that the building is over eighty years old, this work will likely be welcomed by staff and students.
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