Best in Category - Student Design 2016

VicHyper Pod Prototype


VicHyper is an interdisciplinary team of RMIT students competing as the only finalists from the Southern Hemisphere in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in January 2017.

Hyperloop is revolutionising the future of transportation with the ability to travel at the speed of sound (1,200 km p/h), utilising magnetic levitation and electrical motors within a vacuum tube.

Having been awarded the ‘The Braking Sub-System Excellence Award’, VicHyper is diligently constructing Australia’s first Hyperloop pod prototype.

Encapsulating ingenuity, simplicity and functionality, the VicHyper pod design will place Victoria and Australia on the world stage as pioneers in innovation and transportation.

Design Excellence

Braking System: VicHyper’s award-winning braking system is driven by performance whilst ensuring maximum safety is provided. For the purposes of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, VicHyper’s pod prototype is wheeled to test the capability of the four-tiered braking system alongside the acceleration provided by the linear induction motors.The four tiered braking system is comprised of: Eddy Current Arrays, battery-powered linear induction motors, rail brakes alongside a stability system using friction pads and wheeled brakes. Having been award the ‘The Braking Sub-System Excellence Award’, VicHyper’s braking system is a pivotal and essential component of the pod design.

Design Impact

Linear Induction Motor: A groundbreaking aspect of the VicHyper pod design is powering a functional Linear Induction Motor within a vacuum tube to accelerate the pod at unprecedented speeds. Comparative to a conventional induction motors, a Linear Induction Motor is an electric motor producing motion in a straight line opposed to a rotational motion (endless loop). The non-contact surfaces of the Linear Induction Motor allow the pod to be propelled at extreme speeds whilst also being used for regenerative braking. VicHyper will be the first team in the world to operate a Linear Induction Motor within a vacuum.

Design Transformation

Carbon Fibre: Adhering to the SpaceX Hyperloop pod Competition requirements, the VicHyper pod shell is composed of a unique 3D woven fabric, largely comprised of carbon fibre that is resin infused. The benefits of utilising specially woven carbon fibre are that it is robust and lightweight whilst maintaining an aerodynamically optimised profile of the pod. This lightweight and easy to assemble shell, is an essential component of the VicHyper pod design to reach extreme speeds.

Design Innovation

Virtual Reality: VicHyper is utilising virtual reality to create an interactive sensory Hyperloop experience, showcasing what it will feel like to travel within the VicHyper’s pod. Seeing as Hyperloop is a revolutionary concept with no other form of transport alike, virtual reality is essential to enabling people to feel comfortable and confident with this groundbreaking transport technology. Being digitally transported to a Hyperloop station with the VicHyper pod, virtual reality has brought VicHyper’s pod design to life by visually demonstrating how the Hyperloop will feel in reality.

Other Key Features

The VicHyper pod design is breaking the barriers of distance, striving to increase the connectivity of regional and metropolitan areas of Australia like never before. Imagine travelling between Melbourne and Sydney within 40 minutes or Melbourne to Shepparton within 9 minutes without leaving the ground. Additionally, Hyperloop is emerging as the most sustainable mode of transport as it can be entirely functional on renewable energy. VicHyper’s pod design is placing Australia on the world stage as pioneers in Hyperloop technologies and sustainable transportation, with the drive to see Hyperloop become a reality in Australia.