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Is that an Otis Elevator in Tower of Terror?

rdour@techminds

New Member
Original Poster
#1
OK, I have a small debate that needs an honest answer. After watching those Travel Channel specials, and reading about TOT here on the site, I believe that the elevators are actually Otis Elevators. I also know that those have a very distinct feeling when they stop. If they are in a halted state, they have the slightest sudden stop when they come to that halt. This feeling that I experience in a normal cable drivven Otis Elevator I felt on TOT. My girlfriend thinks they are a lift system influenced by Otis technology, but is a creation from the imagineers.

Please help settle this fun little debate.

Ryan
 

theRIOT

Active Member
#2
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Yup. The good people form Otis helped then in some of the design, and testing for what TOT's elevator could do.
The folks from Otis said they thought it strange that Disney wanted to make the elevator car drop when their company has spent it's lifespan keeping that from happening.
I thought it was interesting.

Hope this helped somewhat.
 

rdour@techminds

New Member
Original Poster
#3
You're on the right track. Those were reasons to support my theory in this debate. But, is that equipment branded Otis? If I had access to their elevator room, would I find Otis labels on the equipment?

Ryan

P.S. They do label elevator room equipment. I used to work at a radio station where only the engineering crew had access to the elevator for the building at night. I was that engineer. I would have to turn it on before using it to move big pieces of PA gear down to storage.
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
#5
While Otis worked on the project and made many (most) of the elevator components. The system used on tower of terror was specially created for tower by Disney and Otis and is not available anywhere else. Otis worked with Disney and fabricated the VVC (Vertical Vehicle Conveyance - the thing that brings you up and down). However the AGV (Autonomous guided vehicle - the thing you actually sit in) was designed by WDI. The AGV is virtually the same ride system (with some alterations) as seen in the UoE and GMR.
 

unkadug

Follower of "Saget"The Cult
#6
Woody13 said:
Who owns Otis? UTC. Who was the sponsor of The Living Seas? I rest my case.
UTC?

Utilities and Transportation Commission
University Of Tennessee Chattanooga
Co-ordinated Universal Time
Universite de Technologie do Compiegne
United Telecom Council
University Transportation Center
Unicode Technical Committee
United Theological College.........

(insert drum roll here)

United Technologies Corporation:sohappy:
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
#7
peter11435 said:
The AGV is virtually the same ride system (with some alterations) as seen in the UoE and GMR.
Much more complicated but it does follow a buried tracking system (is it pucks now or still a wire; UoE changed to pucks ala Spectromagic a while ago)
 

rdour@techminds

New Member
Original Poster
#8
OK, now that I can make more sense out of this, the VVC is the elevator itself. Is the VVC driven by "off the shelf design" Otis elevator equipment? That is the best way to ask my question now. Thanks for the detail, I love detail.

But this brings up an even more interesting question. Is there a mechanism that locks the ride vehicle itself to the VVC platform? What ensures that the vehicle is accurately driven onto that platform? What indicates that the platform is in position for loading and unloading? I could amagine some interesting situations if these three things ever had problems.

Has there been any articles detailing situations? I'd be quite afraid of being "stuck" in that elevator :)!

Ryan
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
#9
rdour@techminds said:
OK, now that I can make more sense out of this, the VVC is the elevator itself. Is the VVC driven by "off the shelf design" Otis elevator equipment? That is the best way to ask my question now. Thanks for the detail, I love detail.

But this brings up an even more interesting question. Is there a mechanism that locks the ride vehicle itself to the VVC platform? What ensures that the vehicle is accurately driven onto that platform? What indicates that the platform is in position for loading and unloading? I could amagine some interesting situations if these three things ever had problems.

Has there been any articles detailing situations? I'd be quite afraid of being "stuck" in that elevator :)!

Ryan
The VVC is not an "off the shelf design." It was designed for and only used on the various tower of terrors. It was designed by WDI and Otis. The AGV is locked into the VVC before the VVC begins to fall. There are a number of computerized safety systems to make sure there are no problems.
 
#10
unkadug said:
UTC?

Utilities and Transportation Commission
University Of Tennessee Chattanooga
Co-ordinated Universal Time
Universite de Technologie do Compiegne
United Telecom Council
University Transportation Center
Unicode Technical Committee
United Theological College.........

(insert drum roll here)

United Technologies Corporation:sohappy:
Sorry. :wave: I thought that since all the members here are knowledgeable Disney fans, they would know the acronyms for the recent major corporate sponsors.
 
#12
The doors that open and close repeatedly in the drop shafts are Horton brand automated doors - the same brand that you'll see in many grocery stores, hospitals, and other stores with the sliding glass entry doors. If the system were a typical elevator "package", the doors would be branded with the elevator system as well.

If you watched the same Travel Channel show I saw, you would have noticed that the motors are absolutely huge, and are slightly differnet than common elevator drives, since these both "push" and "pull" the VVC in the shaft, with the cables attached to the top and bottom of it. I predict that WDI owns the patents on all of these contraptions, but I could be wrong. I do know that Otis had their hand in the design, and they did make the comment from an earlier post, about spending their life trying to PREVENT an elevator from free-falling!

I'm glad to see someone else on here who shares my interest in picking apart technical things like this! I'm a Construction Manager in my "real life", which is great because I get to see how everything works :)
 
#14
i haven't ridden TOT yet, but i do know this:
UTC ( Unted Technologies ) owns Otis
http://www.utc.com/utc/home.html

the elevator controller - the unit that controls the up & down, the speed, speed changes, when to stop, when to open doors, etc etc is Otis equipment.
Not unlike the controllers in many high-speed high-rise office towers and landmark buildings around the world.
these controllers have a vast range of adjustable parameters in regards to "ride quality". office workers want a fast, efficient but smooth ride.
the ride can be set up to be incredibly soft or abrupt, even violent. for TOT, it was possible to have the machine (electric elevator traction motor) to shake the riders up a bit, give them a thrill with rapid direction changes, crazy acceleration, etc. this is easy stuff for this equipment. it is just far enough out of our comfort zone to be thrilling!
 

disneydata

Well-Known Member
#15
Much more complicated but it does follow a buried tracking system (is it pucks now or still a wire; UoE changed to pucks ala Spectromagic a while ago)
The pucks are still around and sometimes cause problems, but the system runs on guide wires now. There's two sets of wires - the wires that tell the vehicle where to go and a Go/NoGo wire. If power is removed from the ride (e-stop), the Go/NoGo wire severs the connection which causes the vehicle to stop motion. Same goes if a vehicle veers off course and loses contact with the wire - it's programmed to stop.
 

DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
#17
Yup. The good people form Otis helped then in some of the design, and testing for what TOT's elevator could do.
The folks from Otis said they thought it strange that Disney wanted to make the elevator car drop when their company has spent it's lifespan keeping that from happening.
I thought it was interesting.

Hope this helped somewhat.
The cars don't just drop - they are pulled downwards faster than gravity - and the holes in the floor have large fans underneath blowing air up to make it seem to drop even faster!
 
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