After SpaceX announced the Hyperloop Pod Competition last year, hundreds of teams submitted design packages, 124 teams passed the screening round and moved forward to the ‘Design Weekend’, where a panel of judges consisting of Tesla and SpaceX engineers selected 23 winners.
The winning teams shared ~$250,000 in cash to help them build their pod prototypes for the final phase of the competition which will take the form of a race on SpaceX’s upcoming test track, but most teams are also courting sponsors since the cost of a pod prototype is estimated to be well into the 5 figures.
rLoop, a crowdsourced team born out of Reddit, was among the winners of the Design Weekend and is now the only non-student team that will participate in the race this summer. Keeping up with the crowdsourcing theme, rLoop started a crowdfunding campaign to fund its own prototype.
The team raised almost 25% of its $60,000 flexible goal during the first day of the month-long campaign.
The bulk of the cost, an estimated 60.3%, will be put toward the levitation and propulsion system, which will be powered by Arx Pax’s Magnetic Field Architecture.
rLoop has some pretty cool perks available for its backers. There’s the usual stickers and t-shirts, but also a levitating miniature version of the rPod, which can include the chance to name the pod itself or the passenger dummy for a premium.
Here’s the team’s promo video for the Indiegogo campaign:
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I wonder how many people are ready to travel at high speed in a totaly enclosed electrical missile in a vaccum tube? Engineers are begging aircraft manufacturers to remove the windows on passenger planes since there are pressurized airplanes, and still they wont do it because no one would board such a plane.
At this stage it doesn’t have windows but it could do in the future. Also, you say that people won’t want to travel at high speed in electric missile but people still love to travel in high speed jet fuel powered missiles that fly thousands of feet in the air. Before the invention of the aeroplane, that would sound mental.