Student innovators from IIT-Madras won tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s admiration with their design of a hyperloop pod at a SpaceX organised competition in Los Angeles.
Avishkar Hyperloop, which was incubated at the Centre For Innovation at IIT-M, was the lone Asian team selected to enter the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019 last month. Hyperloop is a proposed transportation concept of a network of vacuum-sealed tubes which can, theoretically, ferry people at great speeds sans air friction. The competition was held in Los Angeles last weekend with team members of Avishkar earning the opportunity to interact with Musk, founder-CEO of Space X, and Josh Geigel, co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop One.
One of the team members, Pranit Mehta, took to Twitter to share their experience. “Pleasure to have met and interacted with @elonmusk at the @SpaceX @Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019! Also, a wonderful experience for Team @avishkar_loop , the only Asian Finalist there! (sic),” he tweeted.
Avishkar was tasked with developing an indigenous design to build the first-ever self-propelled, autonomous Hyperloop Pod in India. They were among the 21 teams selected from a total of 1,600 applicants globally to participate in the competition.
Prior to the competition, team Avishkar was invited to visit the Los Angeles headquarters of Virgin Hyperloop One. “The @iitmadras @avishkar_loop student hyperloop team stopped by our Los Angeles headquarters to learn more about our progress in India. Always encouraging to see the next generation of thinkers embracing this transformative technology! (sic),” read a tweet by Virgin Hyperloop One.
The competition was, however, won by the team from Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich), whose pod set a speed record of 463 kilometres per hour.