Stanford Hospital Shoots Human Tissue Around in Pneumatic Tubes

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7,000 times a day, the staff at Stanford Hospital launch a sample or some other vital object through their four miles of pneumatic tubing. Because the internet is good at sending emails, but not chunks of stomach lining.

While pneumatic tube systems are not exactly hot new technology, this one isn't about to be replaced. It's still the absolute fastest way to transport a small object across a quarter-mile wide hospital.


This one has 124 stations, 141 transfer units, 99 inter-zone connectors and 29 blowers. The cylinders that hold whatever is being transferred can scoot along at up to 25 feet per second, and they've never gotten stuck along the way.

I wish these systems were in use in more places today. It's still entertaining to pass cash to a bank teller through a tube after this many years. Where's my pneumatic tube restaurant? [Stanford]