The Hyperloop, a vacuum-like pod transportation system with the ability to take passengers in rapid ground transportation at the same speed as an airplane, is a concept ORU’s engineering students are working to make a reality.
On Jan. 27-29, ORU’s engineering team, Team Codex, competed in the final stages of the Hyperloop pod competition at SpaceX’s test track in Hawthorne, California.
Team Codex is the only team in Oklahoma to qualify for the finals of the pod competition. This January marks the first time that any team has actually been able to use this test track in order to see their design in action.
“I was the one who originally started the team for the competition about a year and a half ago,” said Team creator Brandon Braun. “For the first year, it was at the design stage we created our own concept.”
SpaceX is a technology-advancement focused company created in 2002 with the ultimate goal of increasing transportation technology.
The design incorporates a series of levitated wheels, each with magnets spinning at a high speed creating lift through a magnetic field. This allows the transportation pod to rise in a Hyperloop and float while moving.
“One thing that was really exciting and challenging [was] working on the magnet-braking system of [our] pod,” said team member Jordan Reutter. “The last three or four weeks before competition we were able to manufacture, we spent 150 hours in manufacturing on these parts.”
The original competition recruited 300 universities at its release in 2015. These individual engineering teams spent all weekend battling it out to get their prototype on the ground and running.
“I thought it was really cool to go out there and see all the other teams and their pods that they made,” said team member Josh Braun.
Braun said Team Codex faced schools such as MIT, Virginia Tech and several international teams from Japan, the Netherlands and Germany.
Due to the popularity of this installment, SpaceX has also announced it will be continuing the competition in the summer of 2017 on their own test track.
As for Team Codex’s future plans, “Sleep,” said Junior Nate Frailey, as Reutter interrupted him.
“The hyper loop competition continues on to another round. At this point we do not know if we will be going on, for now we will be taking a break.”