Within days of the competition announcement, a group of UW-Madison students joined together to form what is now Badgerloop. These students were highly motivated by the innovative challenge of creating a new mode of transportation. Utilizing any resources they were able to gather, they began planning for the first Hyperloop competition, the Design Weekend at Texas A&M.
Competition I - Design Weekend
Badgerloop designed and created a few system prototypes to take to Design Weekend (held at Texas A&M). Not knowing what the other 127 teams would be bringing forced us to think creatively about prototypes we wanted to show off. Our hard work paid off as we took third place next to MIT and Delft of the Netherlands. As soon as the competition was over we came back to campus and started building our actual pod design.
Competition I - Test Track Runs
One year later we drove across the country from Wisconsin to California to compete with our finalized pod. After working around the clock for many months leading up to the competition we were honored to advance to compete next to 25 other teams. Due to technical complications, our pod was not able to test on the track, but we still impressed the judges and took home one of two Innovation Awards! Also, we were the only pod that Elon Musk sat in.
Building on the knowledge of the first competition, we quickly got to work designing our new pod for the second competition. In half the time as Competition I, we submitted a design, got it approved, and got selected to be one of 25 teams to compete at the California competition. We fabricated a more simple pod with the goal of being the fastest. With great effort we built a fast, sleek, and functional pod that won us our second Innovation Award!
For Competition III, we set our sights on making it into the vacuum tube (only six teams have ever done this) therefore prioritizing a functional pod over a revolutionary design. Despite challenges during testing week, we were one of four teams selected to present our design to the other teams, media, and other attendees.