Human Achievement of the Day: Earthquake Airbag for Homes

If fears of The Big One have kept you from moving to seismically overactive areas like California and Japan, today’s human achievement might provide a way for you to live on top of a fault line in relative safety. Japanese inventor Shoichi Sakamoto has created a system that automatically raises and isolates entire homes when it detects an earthquake.

According to Air Danshin, the company with which Sakamoto developed his device, the system detects tremors and in less than a second push air in between the foundation and the home, allowing the home to float 3 cm above the ground until the tremors subside.

Not only is the product ingenious, it also happens to be cost-effective compared with other similar technologies, supposedly a third of the cost of other systems.

Currently, the system is being placed in about 88 locations around Japan. Those responsible for sensitive locations, like nuclear power plants for example, ought to keep an eye on this invention, regardless of their location or predicted seismic activity. As we’ve learned in the last year, Mother Nature is difficult to predict and it is better to be overly cautious than underprepared.