IIT-M team to make it big in SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in July

Chennai: When Elon Musk revealed one of his dream concepts, the Hyperloop, innovators across the world were left in awe. Today, several teams have been formed to pitch their own ideas for the Hyperloop Pod Competition.

Avishkar Hyperloop, a student-led team from IIT Madras and the only team from Asia, has qualified for the finals to be held at the SpaceX headquarters in California this July, where they will run their pod through a mile long vacuum tube.

What is Hyperloop, anyway? It is a new mode of transportation were a pod carrying passengers travels through a vacuum sealed tube at high speed without air resistance or friction.

The Tony Starks

Speaking with News Today, member of Avishkar Hyperloop, Pranit Mehta, shares insights about the goals they wish to achieve. He says, “In September 2017, a few M.Tech students worked together and submitted a design of our model to SpaceX.”

Pranit explains how the team has been split. “We are divided into seven sub-groups which include six technical sub-systems; braking, electric propulsion, controls and communication, structures, stability, power systems and there is also one business team. Each team has a group head who guides members to work on the segment they focus on.”

The team behind the project (Inset) Parts of Avishkar Hyperloop pod.

New horizons

How does the team feel to be a part of this competition? “It was mesmerising and challenging. It was absolutely great to work on a concept which Elon Musk had proposed and open-sourced for students to come with their own ideas,” says Pranit.

“The problem we faced was lack of resources as the project was new for everyone across the globe.” He then informs that they receive funding from IIT-M alumni by collaborating with industries and also through online crowd-funding website, Keto.

Future plans

Pranit informs that the team is working on other projects, aiming to optimise vital factors of their pod such as motors and levitation. “The work will begin once the competition is over,” he says. “Our team’s vision is to contribute to the development of a new mode of high-speed transportation for India. We are integrating innovative technologies to reduce the time spent by people to travel across cities and open up new avenues of development for the Indian economy. We also look forward to working with other companies.”

The Keto fundraising link for Avishkar Hyperloop is: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TrBW9-qJhWxV5sbnEHUBdrvsTDcrym8R/view

For details, visit www.avishkarhyperloop.com

In numbers
* Budget: Rs 1.2 crore* Target speed: 350 kmph

* Hyperloop pod cost: Rs 65 lakh (excluding cost of logistics and team travel)