This foot-operated elevator button eliminates the need for touching

There's no indication of how you choose a floor once in the elevator, though.

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People are finding all kinds of ingenious ways to avoid touching things in public as the coronavirus continues to spread. Shops are asking people to order for pick-up, roving bots are delivering food, and in China, a food factory found an ingenious way for workers to call an elevator without touching anything.

In the video below you can see how the jerry-rigged concept works:

It's essentially a pedal-bin mechanism, but for calling an elevator. Pressing down on the pedal with your foot pulls a string, causing a pendulum device to swing and hit the elevator button. Which is pretty neat.


Some public facilities around the U.S. already have similar door-opening accessibility buttons that are placed low to the ground in order to accommodate people in wheelchairs, but they're not everywhere.

We have questions — The obvious question with this elevator concept is, how do you choose a floor once you're inside the elevator? Surely you have to press a button to choose a floor, but maybe not? The two buttons suggest there are multiple floors to this building. But perhaps there's an organ-like contraption on the inside with a pedal for every floor. Wouldn't that be great?

The Twitter user who shared this discovery doesn't offer a look at the elevator's interior, nor do the replies offer any hints. There could be some other solution on the inside. We've reached out for more information. But for now, we're happy to marvel at this sliver of ingenuity in the midst of a global crisis.

Coronavirus can lurk on surfaces — Recent research has found that coronavirus can remain infectious on certain metals like stainless steel for up to four days, so you can imagine why one might want to be careful pressing these buttons, or any buttons for that matter.

Many businesses with elevators have also limited how many people can get in one at a time considering the moving rooms on cables demand occupants get so close together, making the recommended six feet of separation impossible in all but the most spacious examples of the form. Anyone who's worked in a busy office building will know that could get very slow, however.

It's unclear how businesses will really address that larger issue whenever people do eventually return to work. Perhaps they'll suggest we all take the stairs instead? Considering how little exercise most of us are getting, that might not be the worst idea.