We're Going to SpaceX!

All of last semester, the team was hard at work on our design for Hyperloop Competition Weekend III! After preliminary design breifing and submission of our final design package for review by SpaceX engineers, we are excited to announce that we have been selected as one of only 20 teams to attend the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition in summer 2018! Check out the complete list of teams competing here: http://www.spacex.com/hyperloop

Check back here for updates on our manufacturing progress this semester, and see you in Hawthorne!

Summer 2017 Updates!

Hey everyone!

Here is an insightful overview of what Berkeley Hyperloop's engineering subteams worked on this summer. We hope you enjoy reading about our team's progress and improvement as we continue to build the newly designed pod this semester.


Braking did research into a new type of braking mechanism, and are currently in the process of assembling and testing a lead screw prototype. This design has been approached by other hyperloop teams, and the braking team was inspired to try this after seeing them at competition weekend in January. The levitation and braking test rig needed some alterations too, and those teams worked to get the rig up and running again so that we can run validation tests on our old braking arrays to get some data that will be useful for the redesign.


Levitation team spent the summer developing a process for simulating magnetic arrays in ANSYS, writing a matlab script that compiles their data in a useful way. They also did research into actuation methods, deciding that we will likely use screw jacks to move our levitation arrays. This semester, Lev is going to be running simulations to finalize an array design and validating the forces that are going to be generated. They are also going to be modeling the integration of the screw jacks into the pod as a whole, with the goal being full design lock in December.


Structures spent the summer looking into changes that could be made to the overall shape of the pod. We spoke to the previous lead to determine changes that could be made, such as focusing less on aerodynamics, and more on incorporating other subteams. One change we’ve decided on was to ditch the base package concept, and instead use skis similar to wheels on a car. In turn, this means we need to look more into suspension systems. This semester, Structures would like to have completed a smaller scale mockup of the pod, and run structural simulations.


The controls team spent most of the summer attempting to restore functionality to the pneumatic system used in competition in January. The team also spent time thinking about a redesign for the control mechanism for braking. We created a prototype system for controller brake actuation via lead screw and a motor. Proof of concept works, but we still need to scale up testing conditions. Team leadership also created a design doc for new members to get acquainted with microcontrollers and sensors, so we can have more involvement from new members. Members are also working on a redesign of the software architecture so we can built a more modular and redundant system.

We Went to Space(X)!

On one fateful evening in late January 2017, the Berkeley Hyperloop team assembled for what seemed like one of the last times and braced for a 6 hour long road trip.

Yes, ironically enough, bLoop, a team formed around the idea of high-speed transport, was headed to Los Angeles on a bus that went at approximately 1/10th the Hyperloop Pod we'd all set out to emulate 8 months ago. After what seemed like the longest road trip of our lives, we arrived in Hawthorne midnight of 27th January 2017 - the beginning of the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition. Little did we know what wild three days awaited us. Recollecting Competition Weekend is akin to remembering a dream after you wake up. You remember intense bits, you remember pleasant bits, and then there are some bits that you'd rather not talk about at all. From late nights painting our pod, scrambling to make repairs, fangirling over Elon Musk and bonding over Korean Barbeque, bLoop went from a few people passionate about fast pods to a team that competed against the world's best engineering teams. We heard Elon Musk speak, interacted with brilliant people, watched our pod go from design to completion and had the best time our lives learning and bonding as a team.

Competition Weekend was a huge success, but it wouldn't have been possible without the support of our sponsors, families and friends. We'd like to thank all of you once again, and we hope you continue to support us as we move into this new phase of operation.

bLoop forever!

Our M.O.

Hey bLoopers!

These are exciting times for Berkeley Hyperloop - with just over a month left to the competition, our subteams have been hard at work finishing up our beautiful pod. Thanks to the efforts of our diligent team members, bLoop is on track to compete at SpaceX's Hyperloop Pod Competition from the 27th to the 29th of January, and man are we excited! However, the holidays are also a time for gratitude, and bLoop is immensely grateful for our fantastic sponsors, who have not only helped provide us with resources, but have also believed in us from the start. Today, the team would like to thank one such remarkable sponsor, a sponsor without whom our pod would be literally impossible to build - Modus.

Modus, previously known as Western Rubber & Supply, Inc., is an engineering solutions provider that has been an indispensable partner to bLoop throughout the semester's design and build cycle. To put it simply: Modus is the reason bLoop's design and build cycle could occur over a single semester. Building pods is an arduous process, one that requires days after days of cutting, welding, heating and assembling parts. Thanks to Modus' advanced solutions, bLoop's production process has been substantially streamlined.

Serving clients as prolific as Tesla Motors, Modus is no newcomer to the engineering solutions. With an experience of over 40 years in the field, Modus' world-class industrial tools and service are hard to find elsewhere. For instance, bLoop's cutting needs were met with a waterjet cutter that belongs in science-fiction movies. With 8 nozzles, and immaculate accuracy, Modus' waterjet cut our primary chassis and tooling ribs, ranging from 1/2 to 1/32in in thickness. With such efficiency, Modus is able to process large cutting orders in a matter of days. On multiple occassions, Modus' turnaround time for bLoop's was as quick as a day or two - making urgent production targets possible to meet.

Modus' generous (and efficient) solutions have been an essential part of Berkeley Hyperloop's journey so far, and we're excited about the coming few days. Stay tuned for more updates about the build process, and of course, the competition in January!

Innovation? We Know a Thing (or Two)

Hey everyone!

Berkeley Hyperloop has been hard at work - with our crowdfunding in full drive, and our engineers working tirelessly to bring the pod to life, we're busier than ever. However, my favorite part yet was last week, when we had the honor of attending the Ansys Northern California Innovation Conference in Mountain View, California.

After an eventful (to put things delicately) drive to the Computer History Museum on a sunny Thursday morning, we stepped into a room full of engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs all gathered to discuss the future of technology. With breathtaking talks such as the future of the Internet of Things preceding us, it was safe to say that we were in the right place. Finally, it was bLoop's time to shine. After a flattering introduction by our friends at Ansys, Tyler and Neel took the stage to talk about how bLoop really is transforming progress towards a working Hyperloop. Neel and Tyler took us through our vision to change the future of transportation, our focus on safety, and how our engineering teams were hard at work to perfect the most minor of details - from our circuitry to our chassis.

As Neel talked about the aerodynamics of the pod, I could see the engineers and executives in the room jostle with excitement, already whispering to the person adjacent. And after Tyler took the room through our electromagnetic braking system, there was enough energy in the air to power a Hyperloop ride (or maybe more, since we're so efficient). Afterwards at lunch, we had the opportunity to talk to industry leaders as they offered computational space, logistical help, and advice on various sections of the build - invaluable advice we couldn't have elsewhere.

Finally, Berkeley Hyperloop would like to thank Ansys for not only hosting us at this brilliant event, but also continually supporting our efforts from the start. Speaking to Ansys engineers was one our favorite parts of the day, and we're excited about the future of bLoop's relationship with Ansys.

We've been hard at work, you've been donating, but we still have a ways to go! To learn more about our efforts (and support them), head on over crowdfund.berkeley.edu/bloop!

P.S. Shoutout to Ray for the awesome sandwiches on the way back!