I am sure you guys heard of Hyperloop, the bold mass transportation system dreamed up by Elon Musk that, if realized, will shake up the public transit system and a threat to short-range airline industry. The idea of Hyperloop is based on pneumatic tube transportation which sees capsules or pods zipping along low-pressure tubes. The low friction will enable Hyperloop to achieve crazy speeds, thereby cutting long distance travel time significantly. Anyways, Waterloop is not a variation of Hyperloop. Born out of Canada’s University of Waterloo, Waterloop is group of students who made it as one of the finalists in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition.
The competition invites brilliant minds to design and build a half-scale prototype vehicle pod which will be tested on the mile long vacuum track. Waterloop’s prototype, GOOSE I is the prelude to the GOOSE X, a conceptual Hyperloop passenger vehicle design that one day may become the transport you depend on to shuttle long distance quickly without resorting to air transportation. Naturally, a vehicle of such high-tech nature is going to be, well, high-tech and in the case of GOOSE I, it uses air caster technology to achieve air levitation (think Air Hockey) that would enable the vehicle to zip through vacuum tube at speed with minimal drag.
There’s a low speed drive system for taxiing before entering and after exiting the Hypertube while a sophisticated hybrid braking system is in place to pull the vehicle to stop. In a lateral control system keeps the lateral stability in check with respect to the Hypertube’s track. The Waterloop Team has taken to Kickstarter seeking financial funding to build GOOSE I and so, if you dig Waterloop’s proposal, you may want to consider contributing to their cause in exchange for some goodies. If you need a little convincing, here’s a little video that will hopefully do so:
All images courtesy of Waterloop.