We did it, we said we were going to win and we did. We built something so technologically beautiful that Elon Musk himself crowned it the most innovative of them all.
I am proud to have served on a team where the exact combination of passionate people was key to achieving our success. Every ounce of effort mattered, every single nut tightened, every single wire connected, every word spoken. Thank you all for standing beside me through it all. You are all amazing, and no matter how little you came in with, I hope working together helped you learn, and set yourselves up for a better future.
I am leaving this monument in my timeline. I invite my friends to leave a note on this monument, and feel free to put some links to yourself (LinkedIn, etc), write about your own contributions and experiences at rLoop. Later, I can look back, reflect, while thinking of all the people who were there with me.
What is rLoop
We are a team of crazy people who worked on a crazy project for crazy reasons. We are a group of people from around the world who worked together to build the world’s best hyperloop pod.
We are rLoop!
We built a 1/3rd scale hyperloop pod for the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition. rPod is a beautiful machine that can hover on magnets, travel at almost 300MPH, while carrying one passenger. Its body is a small scale homebrew aircraft frame encased in custom molded fiberglass mounted on a complex aluminum undercarriage.
Its heart is two Li-poly battery packs (hand assembled cell by cell, with CNC’ed bus bars, custom BMS circuitry, and 500+ temperature sensors) with the equivalent energy of 1.3KG of TNT (yes we calculated that). Its brain is a network of custom designed circuits running on the Ti RM48 family of MCUs to perform flight control and power management.
January 29 2017 was the date when SpaceX held the final testing and judging of all competitors. This whole week was the first time any one of us could see what the other teams have been building, and it was clear that we went above and beyond. We actually built a pod that can fit a person inside and have air for him to breath, nobody else was able to accomplish that feat. We built an active hovering platform with ability to provide both forward and reverse thrust. We have a control system that is entirely our own without resorting to Arduino or Labview. Every square inch of our pod is optimized for aerodynamics and mass. This is the pod that actually impressed SpaceX enough for them to bring over their big boss to see.
What stopped us from entering the tube was simply luck and time. I know how hard I worked for rPod and I can see how much effort my teammates put in as well. We pushed ourselves beyond our limits to get this far. What we saw were other pods with a quarter of our complexity roll down the tube at a quarter of the speed we could’ve flown at. That’s ok, because our prize is the pride we feel when we see what we’ve achieved and knowing we never lost our vision of a true hyperloop pod.
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For more pictures and videos:
- Our main sponsor, TE, has an entire video series about us
- Official rLoop Youtube channel
- @rLoopTeam Twitter
- rLoop Team Instagram
- rLoop Team Facebook
- rLoop Official Website