In a major mobility breakthrough, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has developed a hyperloop system for the movement of heavy cargo like coal and minerals.
The cargo hyperloop is based on a compressed air-based pipeline system for coal and mineral transportation with significantly lower operating cost.
In the system, the robot travels at approximately 120 km/hr and can transport the loaded block to the designated unloading sub-section continuously.
This will be a continuous process, and there could be more than one robotic vehicle operating in series depending on the workload, the IIT Kanpur said today.
The cargo-based hyperloop system is positioned to have a significant impact on the industry, reducing costs, increasing efficiency etc.
Each module of the vehicle is connected to the adjacent modules through a ball and socket joint. This provides connectivity and manoeuvrability, thus enabling the robot to pass through complex bends present in the pipeline network.
The system has been developed by Prof Bishakh Bhattacharya, and research scientists Kanhaiya Lal Chaurasia and Yashasvi Sinha of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kanpur.
While the hyperloop system promises to revolutionise heavy cargo movement, the traditional mode of transportation has always been a challenge with issues like material loss, uncertainty in delivery time and air pollution.
“The new cargo-based hyperloop system addresses these challenges effectively and promises to reduce air pollution, material loss, and travel time significantly,” the Institute underlined.
IIT Kanpur Director Prof Abhay Karandikar noted the system is a game-changer in the field of transportation.
“With its dual advantage of reduced energy consumption and simultaneous pipeline monitoring, this technology will greatly improve production and productivity from underground and open-cast mining. The reduced number of trucks and railway wagons will also reduce the pressure on congested freight-carrying tracks and roadways,” he added.
To achieve positioning performance in extended GPS-denied environments such as tunnels/pipeline, the system deploys a hybrid multi-sensor fusion strategy for wagon positioning in pipelines.
Meanwhile, the system, developed at the Smart Materials, Structures and Systems (SMSS) Lab of IIT Kanpur, was also demonstrated at the recently concluded UP Global Investors Summit (GIS) 2023.