This week on Engineering Newswire, we’re building Hyperloop transportation, putting paralyzed people behind the wheel, and riding futuristic airplanes that carry passengers in pods. This episode is brought to you by Smalley Steel Ring Company, the exclusive manufacturer of Spirolox Retaining Rings and Smalley Wave Springs for more than 50 years. Request samples to try in your application today.  This episode features:

  • Clip-Air project researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are currently working on the technical feasibility of futuristic airplanes with a single flying wing that can transport up to three capsules. The autonomous capsules would be 30 meters long and weigh 30 tons, roughly the size of a railroad car so they’re also compatible with existing rail systems.
  • In 2005, the autonomous, solar-powered Zoe became the first robot to map microbial life during a field expedition in Chile's Atacama Desert. Well, she is heading back to the world's driest desert this month on a NASA mission led by Carnegie Mellon and the SETI Institute, but this time, Zoe is equipped with a one-meter drill designed by Honeybee Robotics that can bore deep into the ground to search for subsurface life.
  • Researchers in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering have developed a new noninvasive system that allows people to control a flying robot using only their mind. The study goes way beyond steering a quadcopter without a joystick and has the potential to help people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Elon Musk’s proposed Hyperloop would be a future replacement for bullet trains that would get commuters from San Francisco to Los Angeles in as little as 30 minutes. But how does it work?

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