Hyperloop One, one of the main companies working on full-scale hyperloop systems, shared images of its latest creation: the ‘tube deformer’. In order for a hyperloop transport system to become a reality, it will be extremely important to bring the cost of the track (or tube) down.
Making the assembly process as simple as possible will go a long way in reducing the cost per mile and that’s exactly what the ‘tube deformer’ does.
The company explains the contraption’s purpose:
“It enables us to reshape the tube ends so we can more easily weld them together.”
It will be useful for the startup’s full-scale test track under construction in North Las Vegas, where the company conducted its first propulsion test just last month, and hopefully for the first commercial track some day.
Hyperloop One shared a quick video of the cool looking machine at work:
The video reminded me of recent comments by Elon Musk, the initiator of the Hyperloop concept, about the “machine building the machine”.
Tesla’s CEO said that he recently came to the realization that the potential for improvement is at least a factor of 10 greater in manufacturing vehicles than in the actual vehicle engineering. He added that he will now focus on “the machines building the machines”.
The same concept applies to the hyperloop since new tools, like the ‘tube deformer’, will need to be invented in order for the system to become a reality. It is crucial to get the machines building the hyperloop right. They are creating a new mode of transport. If they are successful, it means that they will also create a new industry and consequently new manufacturing methods and supply chains.