Later this year, students from the HYPED team, which now totals more than 100 members, will return to the headquarters of aerospace manufacturer SpaceX in California to compete as finalists in the annual Hyperloop Pod Competition, set up in 2015 by technology entrepreneur and SpaceX boss Elon Musk. The contest challenges university teams across the globe to advance the technology of Hyperloop, a proposed system of transport that would work by propelling levitated pods electrically through low-pressure tubes at speeds of around 700 mph for distances up to 900 miles. The impact on travel would be phenomenal, cutting journey times between Edinburgh and London, for example, to around 45 minutes.
It is the second year in a row that RS has sponsored the HYPED team’s participation at the SpaceX competition, providing key components to build a low-weight, fully autonomous half-scale pod. The 2017 prototype, known as Poddy McPodface, featured magnetic levitation, high-speed braking, and a host of on-board sensors and computers for controls and safety. The team is now refining the design for its new generation pod, Poddy the Second, in preparation for the 2018 competition, adding features such as electrodynamic (Halbach array) wheels for propulsion, emergency pneumatic brakes, and a carbon composite pressurised vessel. The constructed pod will compete against other finalists on SpaceX’s mile-long test-track in summer 2018.
Macauley Versey (21), an electrical and mechanical engineering student at the University of Edinburgh and a member of Team HYPED commented: “RS has been really fundamental in the development of our pod prototype. By sponsoring our team, we’ve been able to simply order whatever components or products we need through the website, which has been hugely helpful for us.”
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