The final competition is still a few months away, but students at the University of Cincinnati are celebrating a breakthrough this week after their Hyperloop model — and entry into Elon Musk‘s contest — successfully levitated.
On Monday, the team’s Hyperloop pod prototype achieved a quarter-inch of magnetic levitation at an unveiling at the University of Cincinnati’s Myers Alumni Center.
Hyperloop is the name given to a transportation concept involving high-speed travel through pneumatic tubes. Though similar technologies have populated sci-fi books, comics and movies, the concept has grown in popularity in the wake of the expressed interest of SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
Musk is currently working to construct a model track where Hyperloop pod models — like the one designed by the team of Cincinnati students — can be tested in January 2017.
Hyperloop UC’s demo is being prepped for shipment to California, where it will await its turn on the mile-long test track. The students will get a chance to test their model on the track in November, prior to the final exhibition in late January.
“We are very proud of the design we have created,” Dhaval Shiyani, an aerospace engineering graduate student and Hyperloop UC’s president, said in a news release. “It hits all the marks with respect to performance, safety and scalability. Our education at UC has taught us well, and we are confident that we will be a force to reckon with come January.”
Shiyani and his teammates first proposed their Hyperloop model at a conference in January 2016. Theirs was one of 30 concepts chosen for the final competition. They have since turned their initial designs into a functioning — and levitating — Hyperloop pod.
“These are engineers, designers and business students all working side by side — just as they would in the real world,” said Teik C. Lim, a professor of mechanical engineering at UC. “They have taken their vision, formed by a host of different minds, and together have made it a reality. I couldn’t be more pleased with what they have accomplished. I wish them much success as they enter the final round.”
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping