Hyperloop, envisioned as the ‘fifth mode of transportation’, is the brainchild of the great innovator, Elon Musk. It is believed to have the potential of revolutionizing the world of transport by moving faster than airplanes, being environmentally friendly, requiring almost null maintenance and being completely safe. The concept of the Hyperloop is a sealed tube through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction, on super magnets, without touching the ground. It can truly eliminate the barrier of distance and time and bring to life supersonic travel. It’s so futuristic that it looks like it’s zapped straight from The Jetsons.
What’s more is that this project has been open sourced by SpaceX, giving young engineers like us the opportunity to ideate and innovate further.
Did You Know?
Hyperloop can reduce the travel time between Mumbai and Pune from about 3 hours to 20 minutes!
Inception of the Team
Swapnil Bhat, a Mechanical Undergraduate of the batch of 2020, sowed the seeds of Hyperloop IITB in September 2019. It was realized that apart from IIT Madras, no other eminent colleges from India had a Hyperloop team. Even though there was so much hype around this concept, no one was dedicatedly working towards it. It is believed that the brain power and funding that IIT Bombay provides, if put to good use, could bring about massive impact in society. The primary focus was to create a team which could provide new perspectives to students about technology, work ethics, resource management, and working together.
Events and Competitions
Even though the team had its genesis in September 2019, it was fortunate enough to receive numerous accolades since the beginning. They participated in the Desert Hyperloop Competition organized by Arizona State University in February and successfully reached the final round, stepping in the league of top Hyperloop teams globally. The final run was unfortunately postponed due to Covid- 19.
The team also displayed their prototype in the Inter IIT Engineers’ Conclave held in IIT Roorkee in December and received many compliments for their efforts.
Their next goals are the Indian Hyperloop Pod Competition organized by IIT Madras and the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition organized by none other than Elon Musk in the SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Along with this, the team is also looking forward to being part of European Hyperloop Week to be held in Spain. These events were scheduled in 2020 but have been postponed due to Covid- 19 until further notice.
Ultimate Goal: SpaceX Competition
It is an annual competition organized by SpaceX, inviting university students and independant engineering teams to design and build the best Hyperloop pod.
It is a two part contest. The first part of the contest is Design Weekend, which is held at Texas A&M University. Teams showcase the Hyperloop pod designs which are judged by SpaceX engineers and university professors.
Selected teams then move onto the final phase of the competition where they have the opportunity to test their pods on a one-mile Hyperloop test track (will be made a 10 mile track soon) near the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
The team’s ultimate goal is to win this competition, earn global recognition and bring pride to IIT Bombay as well as India.
Besides having a really strong technical foundation, Hyperloop IITB has an active group of people working in the non technical aspects of the team. Business side of any tech team is extremely essential in order to garner funds and get equipment and parts for the project.
Hyperloop IITB regularly interacts with various companies, not only for getting sponsorship, but also for a healthy exchange of ideas and information.
Currently, Hyperloop IITB has DriveTrain Innovations and FabHeads Automation as their official sponsors and are also actively working towards collaborating with more companies from around the globe in order to get their hands on the best possible parts for the pod.
Verticals of the Team
Hyperloop IITB is currently led by Fenil Soni, an Aerospace postgraduate, and Abir Mehta, a Mechanical undergraduate. It consists of fifty highly enthusiastic technocrats distributed in seven technical subsystems- Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Structure, Dynamics, Controls, Power, and a Non- Technical subsystem. Each subsystem is led by their respective Subsystem Head, under whom a pool of engineers work.
Come, join the Team!
The recruitment process of UG freshers begins in the spring semester, while that of PG and UG sophomores takes place in the autumn semester. The process is simple and straightforward. An orientation session is organised where students are made aware about the working of the team and are given a basic idea about various subsystems by respective heads. Thereafter, Google forms are floated in which students are asked their details and motivation. This is followed by an assignment, which is sent to students to be done within a stipulated time. This assignment requires no prerequisites and tests logical reasoning, intuitive thinking and understanding of the subsystem that the student has applied for. On the basis of the performance in the assignment, students are shortlisted for the final round, that is the interview. The interview is an opportunity for the recruiter to finally meet the candidates and interact with them. Students are asked general questions about themselves, their lives in the institute along with some technical questions. They are judged on their understanding of the subsystem they have applied for and the knowledge they have about the team and its structure. Candidates are expected to be passionate about their role in the team and should be open-minded enough to learn new things.
What’s in it for you?
Hyperloop IITB not only provides students knowledge in the engineering domain, but, being a new team, exposes students to the much hyped “start up culture”. Since the team is still in its infancy, students get an opportunity to learn about the process of team building first hand. Each person gets to work in various engineering fields and subsystems and also contribute to the business side of the team. Moreover, the very idea behind Hyperloop IITB sets it apart from other teams. They don’t just focus on getting things done, but also stress upon the process and journey.
Hyperloop IITB believes that if they become successful in their goal, it could change the way student communities work and the way they are perceived by others. They expect an increase in the number of students willing to be part of the team year on year due to the rise in popularity of the concept of Hyperloop and also because of the team’s success uptil now. Students who are a part of this team are contributing to something bigger than themselves, which could potentially alter the way we live and lead our lives.
Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin group that is currently working on their own model of Hyperloop, rightly said “ Hyperloop One could have the same impact in the 21st century as trains did in the 19th”.
Contact the Team
Do check out the team’s FB page (h ttps://www.facebook.com/hyperloopiitb ) and feel free to write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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