It’s been just over two months since the inaugural Hyperloop Pod Competition, held at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, CA. I’m realizing just now that we never told you what happened! Before I update you on what’s currently happening with the pod, here’s an excerpt from the post-competition email I sent out just after we got home.
This project was truly massive. There was no chance that our 8-person team could have accomplished as much as we did without the support of so many around us.The week we spent at SpaceX was a blast. I feel like every day was marked by extreme highs and lows; one minute we’re sure that we’ve been defeated by time and obstacles, the next we’re confident we’ve solved all our problems. The week started with more rain than LA has seen in years, and I still don’t think my leather shoes have dried out. We spent two days huddled inside the trailer turning wrenches, while the controls team elevated power supplies out of the puddles so they could work. Nothing was as simple as it seemed, and we quickly learned the locations of the nearby Fastenal, Home Depot, and Fry’s Electronics.But our story was nearly identical to the 26 other teams sharing the testing lot- everyone was scrounging for tools, materials, and advice. There was no real competition between teams it seemed. Everyone was just excited to take part in it.In the end, time and obstacles did overcome us. The same could be said for 22 other teams as well. We think another 3 days would have been enough, but who knows what Murphy would have thrown at us then 🙂I’ve been saying this for a while now- I don’t think we really know the best answers to the problems we faced, both technical and non-technical. But we learned a WHOLE lot of ways that don’t work, and that’s a good start.
So what’s new?
After the competition, we immediately recognized the need to expand the team. We’ve been recruiting, and have picked up some great additions so far. There’s always more to do!
We have discussed heavily the direction of the next pod. Right now we’re keeping the major themes- wheels, hydraulic brakes, LiFePo power and simple electronic controls- while totally redesigning the suspension, chassis, and body. As our electrical team expands, we’ll also be diving into using PCB’s and more advanced controllers.
Our mechanical team is already starting on suspension design, working from the wheels inward. Here’s a (very) early iteration one of our new team members is working on:
Stay tuned to the website and our Facebook page for more updates.
If you want to be more involved in Team Hyperlynx, either as a student, advisor, or donor, contact us directly at email@example.com.