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Photo of Badgerloop III pod
April 21, 2018

Student-built Hyperloop pod unveiled

Written By: Sam Million-Weaver

Badgerloop, the University of Wisconsin-Madison student team competing in the Space X Hyperloop competition, revealed its entry into the 2018 contest to create an ultrafast, futuristic form of transportation.

At the well attended unveiling event, held April 19, 2018, in Union South on the UW-Madison Campus, visitors got a first glimpse of Pod III—a vehicle designed to hurtle through an airless tube at speeds exceeding 200 mph. Badgerloop has competed in two previous Space X Hyperloop competitions, taking home unprecedented back-to-back Innovation Awards, and the team built on those experiences to build its best pod yet.

“We’ve become one of the premier hyperloop teams in the world,” says Badgerloop technical director Justin Williams.

Pod III is substantially lighter than its predecessors, thanks to a carbon-fiber composite body. Additionally, the pod boasts an electric motor propulsion system with a custom-machined mechanical wheel that can rotate at 33,000 revolutions per minute, or 10 times the stroke-rate of an automobile engine. Designing, fabricating and assembling the pod was a labor of love for the team of primarily undergraduate students, requiring long hours and late nights in the College of Engineering makerspace and TEAM Lab.

All that effort will be worth it come July, though, when Badgerloop has a chance to pit its pod against other teams from around the world at the 2018 Space X Hyperloop Competition in Hawthorne, California.

Looking ahead, Badgerloop President Kali Kinziger says, “We’re here to represent the school and Wisconsin, and to be pioneers for the future.”