University Students Made a Working Model Hyperloop
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
The University of Illinois hyperloop takes up an entire room and does indeed send small pods through a metal tube in an oval loop. As proposed by Musk, Hyperloop "pods" would float on a layer of air, much like an air hockey table. They would be propelled through a pressurized tube at slightly less than the speed of sound by electromagnetic motors placed along the insides of the tube. The University of Illinois project preserves some of those features, but compromises on others.
"We had to make some simplifications to the prototype. We use roller bearings instead of air bearings, for instance," Andrew Horton, a recent graduate who helped lead the project, told me. "For the sake of our prototype, it wasn't feasible to have that complex of a system implanted in one semester. We're thinking future classes will take our work and move forward with it."