A group of Drexel engineering undergraduates is among the last teams standing in the race to design a transportation pod for SpaceX’s high-speed transit test track — the hyperloop.
The team was one of thousands to answer SpaceX founder, Elon Musk’s call for designs this fall. And one of 178 teams whose ideas were developed well enough to present to potential sponsors at Hyperloop Design weekend at Texas A&M University.
Now the Drexel Hyperloop team, comprised of more than 70 students, is one of 22 teams who will build a prototype of the capsule that would hold passengers in Musk’s visionary transit system. They’ll also have an opportunity to test it this summer on a track SpaceX is building in California.
Here’s a look at what their pod prototype will look like as it is assembled over the next few months:
In addition to the support from the University, the team has rallied several local and international companies to its cause. Among them, ide Group, a product design and development company with offices in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and Sydney, Australia; Delphinus Engineering, Inc., an engineering firm based in Philadelphia with offices across the country; and M2VP, a technology strategy consulting firm from West Chester, Pennsylvania.
New Way Air Bearings, an air bearing manufacturer in nearby Chester, Pennsylvania, is working with the team to make the hoover pads will that allow the pod to float along the rails at speeds approaching 200 miles per hour.
For the next four months the team will set up shop in the College of Engineering’s new Innovation Space at 3101 Market St. and set to making their pod concept a reality.
If you’re interested in getting a first-hand look, the team will be presenting its work at a public expo on campus scheduled for Feb. 11.
The pod will have its moment in the sun — and on the test track — this summer. Until then you can follow the team’s progress on twitter @DrexelHyperloop or on the Drexel Hyperloop website: www.drexelhyperloop.com.
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