One of the first hyperloops may have pods made of ‘Vibranium’ – no joke

If anyone was wondering where Hyperloop Transportation Technologies falls on the great Marvel vs. DC debate, the company made its stance clear. HTT has said that it will build its Hyperloop capsules out of “Vibranium,” named after the material used to make Captain America’s shield, reports The Verge.

For those of you who might not be acquainted, the Hyperloop is a theoretical transportation vehicle originally proposed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, which would transport passengers in capsules that travel through giant vacuum tubes. Kept aloft by a combination of magnets and air jets, Hyperloop capsules could theoretically travel at speeds greater than 700 mph. Of course, such speeds will require that the capsules be especially secure — which is precisely why Hyperloop startups like HTT are turning to cutting edge materials like Vibranium.

Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War Marvel

In the Marvel universe, Vibranium is a rare metal of alien origin found in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, home to another Marvel superhero, Black Panther. Vibranium can absorb any energy and vibrations it comes into contact with, making it perfect for shields and armor.

Needless to say, HTT is not actually using Marvel’s fictional metal, or anything close to it. The material is a carbon-fiber coating, which HTT claims is ten times stronger than steel. Given the success of Marvel’s film Captain America: Civil War — which features both the titular hero and Black Panther–the Vibranium name may come across as a bit of opportunistic branding.

The most important detail about the material is that it will be embedded with sensors, which will enable the pod to gather information about temperature, hull stability, and other crucial details, and transmit that data to the Hyperloop operator.

The company developed the material in collaboration with Slovakian materials manufacturer c2i. This is not HTT’s only interaction with Slovakia; earlier this year, the company signed an agreement with the Slovakian government to begin research into the feasibility of a Hyperloop system connecting Bratislava, Vienna, and Budapest.

HTT’s announcements come at a time of great competition among Hyperloop developers. Rival company Hyperloop One recently showed off its own prototype capsule at a test track near Las Vegas. HTT, meanwhile, has yet to demo a working prototype for the public.


Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas, and more.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.
Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Postmates’ to roll out Minion-like autonomous delivery robots in 2019

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.