Kraków students build first mechanical rolling footbridge in Poland

Students from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków (southern Poland) have constructed the first mechanical rolling footbridge in Poland. The footbridge is 3.35 m long and is able to support weights of up to 200 kg, the university announced.

The creators of the bridge say it was modeled on a similar structure in Great Britain. University spokeswoman Anna Żmuda-Muszyńska informed PAP on Thursday that "the unique project is the only construction of its type in Poland". The students created the prototype of the collapsible footbridge as part of an engineering project.

The model consists of eight segments, activated by 14 motors which are electronically controlled and powered by direct current. Each of the platform’s elements works individually - each segment folds only after the previous segment has folded. The structure consists of steel structures and wooden platforms. All parts of the pedestrian bridge were designed and made by the students themselves. The inspiration to create their footbridge came from the Rolling Bridge in London.

As the young constructors emphasise, their bridge could successfully be an element of, for example, a botanical garden. In the future, an extended and improved model could serve as a pedestrian crossing in unusual places, such as in the vicinity of rivers or coastal areas.

According to the young constructors, the model is a perfect example of a combination of several fields: construction, mechanics and architecture. Currently, this type of engineering thought is being developed through the construction of, for example, folding buildings used during military operations in places that are difficult to reach, including in the desert.

The project was created by students Michał Pyza, Piotr Roszkowski and Tomasz Tatara and was supervised by Henryk Ciurej and Michał Betlej. Work on the model lasted for a year and a half.