Heidenhain Supports UM Hyperloop Team

Heidenhain Corp. is supporting the University of Michigan’s Hyperloop team with a sponsorship, as well as donation of motion control feedback for its high-speed pod.

Heidenhain Corp. is supporting the University of Michigan’s Hyperloop team with a sponsorship, as well as donation of motion control feedback for its high-speed pod. The Michigan Hyperloop team is one of 20 to make it to the next stage of competition based on Elon Musk’s vision of future ground transportation.

Its goal was to race along the “Hypertube,” a mile-long partial-vacuum tube in place at SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California, campus where Musk’s vision is being researched and designed. In Musk’s 2013 ground transportation paper, pods of people and cargo travel between cities at transonic speeds in a network of low-pressure tubes, while self-driving electric cars transport goods from Hyperloop stations to their final destinations around the country.

At the third phase of the Hyperloop competition (Competition III), the winning pod needed to accelerate to a speed faster than all of its competitors before fully braking in the short distance provided by the track.

To support these efforts, Heidenhain in North America provided funds to the Michigan team at the Wolverine level, as well as donated four compact ERO rotary encoders designed for high accuracy and reliability in servo drives.

“Heidenhain’s encoders for motion control promise to provide the utmost in motor feedback,” says Jonathan Dougherty, product specialist, Automation Division, “and we are proud to support these forward-thinking young engineers with tools to enable our future.”

Michigan’s Hyperloop team credits its success as a truly collaborative effort with a team that has grown to fifty-plus dedicated members. Team Media Director Emanuel Papageorgiou (BFA ’19) adds, “It’s great to see how many freshmen are actively involved on our team this year. Seeing how many fresh faces took the lead to complete assignments and parts before their deadline, even if they weren’t assigned to them, has been really refreshing and provides our members with invaluable hands-on experience.”