- When you go to a theme park
or some adrenaline-junkie tourist attraction,
you expect it to be safe.
Thrilling, sure, but safe.
But how can the companies that create those rides
test a new one? Say you've got a new invention
like say, a zipline that goes round corners.
There are a few rides sort of like it the world,
but they all use different technologies and work in different ways.
There are standards for things that are mass produced.
How do you test something that's one of a kind?
You really swing outwards on that, don't you?
- We, as a company, like to invent and break and test stuff.
So we've gone through the process
of testing other people's stuff to making our own.
- Traditionally ziplines are a cheap amusement ride.
They go from point A to point B
and you need to have a clear line of sight.
They're different from a rollercoaster
which is able to go round corners but has an awful lot of expense
in building the infrastructure to hold the rails up.
The difference is our product transitions
from a wire rope cable into a corner which is rail-based.
That allows you to go much further
because a zipline can travel kilometres
and a corner can provide a lot of entertainment.
We have a patent on the technology so we've got sole use of it.
Previously, braking systems were friction-based.
Our new system has eddy current brakes.
This is a property of materials
that occurs when you move a magnet through a conductor.
I have in my hand an aluminium channel, that acts as the conductor.
If I drop a steel mass down this aluminium conductor,
as you would expect, it will fall.
If I now drop a magnet down this aluminium conductor,
eddy current braking will slow it down
and it will fall at a very slow rate.
We've captured that and incorporated it into our eddy current brake.
That allows you to have no contacting parts
so there are no wear surfaces.
So there's no brake dust that's created.
The brake is configured such that,
regardless of the rider weight and wind conditions
and gradient of the corner,
you will always fall at a peak velocity which we have governed.
No electronics in there whatsoever.
It solely works on springs, centrifugal force and eddy current braking.
- Regulations on rides and attractions
differ massively depending on where you are.
In some states in the US, for example,
the job of checking that a ride is safe is left to the insurance companies
who'd have to pay out if there was an accident.
The only time the government gets involved is if something has gone so wrong,
if the company has been so negligent,
that there might be criminal charges.
Other countries, like New Zealand are a bit more strict.
There is a difference between foreseeable misuse
and unforeseeable misuse.
If someone gets their phone out on a ride to take a picture
and it falls out of their hands and cracks someone's head open underneath,
well, you should have seen that coming when you built the ride.
Someone was probably gonna do that, you should have put a net down.
But if someone deliberately breaks the restraints
so they can stand up on your rollercoaster,
well, that's their own fault.
The definitions are deliberately vague in law, though.
Because it's easier to say that you should do "everything reasonable"
rather than change the law every time someone invents something new.
- Most countries have their own national standards
and they are acceptable ways of doing things.
They lay out how you should engineer things,
how you should test them.
It's important to comply with standards.
It's also important to show that you've complied with standards
so that people can trace what you've done and why
through the design process.
Generally when you're doing something new, though,
there isn't a standard that you can use to encompass the entire product.
So what we do is we actually go out and we look at all the standards
and we pick bits from each of the standards
that we think are most applicable.
When you design a ride, for example, a zipline ride,
you work out fast the person's going to go
and how much force they're going to apply to each of the components.
If you have a safety factor of five,
you multiply the maximum that the system will see by five
and you need to design and test to that factor.
What we need to do, though,
is we try and work out what will go wrong should any part of the system fail
and part of that failure modes and effect analysis
is to work out how people could do stupid things.
Which they will.
You look at the history,
you look at what people have done on ziplines in the past.
The main thing is to stay involved
right through to seeing the thing being used.
Spot potential misuses and mitigate for them.
- Oh, here we go!
That doesn't look like much from the outside
but when you swing round that corner
it makes a heck of a difference.
Thank you very much to all the team
at Holmes Solutions.
You can pull down the description for more about them and their work.
The first one of these rides is going in
at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, sometime this year.
Thank you, folks.