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BitFlow helps students engineer next-generation transportation

Woburn, MA. BitFlow Inc., a provider of frame grabbers for industrial, scientific, and military vision systems, today announced its sponsorship of the Purdue University engineering team selected to compete in the January 2017 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. The 18-member Purdue Hyperloop Team was among more than 120 universities who submitted designs earlier this year, and one of 29 teams invited to the next round.

Engineering drawing of proposed Purdue Hyperloop Pod (Courtesy of Purdue University)

“BitFlow is proud to work with the Purdue team as it develops the next generation of ultrahigh speed transportation, especially because they are relying on BitFlow frame grabbers and software development kits, along with technical support from our engineers,” said Donal Waide, director of sales and marketing for BitFlow. “This is a great opportunity for BitFlow to foster engineering students’ interest in machine-vision technology, and support to some of this country’s brightest young minds.”

Purdue’s team is deploying a BitFlow Axion-CL Camera Link frame grabber within its pod as part of a high-resolution video-based location finder. The frame grabber simplifies the multiple camera set-up by appearing in software as two completely independent frame grabbers, rather than a single unit. In dual-camera mode, as a result, two cameras do not need to be the same resolution, frame rate, trigger mode, or tap format, giving added versatility in the students’ design. The Axion-CL leverages BitFlow’s StreamSync system, an optimized DMA engine, and expanded I/O capabilities that provide flexibility in routing, enabling to accelerate image processing functions and solve vision design challenges.

Aimed at university students, the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition was created to find the best, fastest pod design for a hyperloop transportation system. Following preliminary judging 29 teams, including Purdue, were selected to build three-fourth scale physical prototypes and test them on a one-mile Hyperloop test track that SpaceX constructed near its Hawthorne, CA, headquarters. The primary goal of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition is to produce a fail-safe, passenger-friendly, scalable prototype that successfully levitates throughout the length of the track.

In 2013, SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk envisioned the “Hyperloop” concept as a fast transportation technology designed to revolutionize modern transit. It involves a levitating passenger capsule or “pod” propelled by magnets in a vacuum tube traveling at 750 mph. Such a system would reduce the travel time, for example, between San Francisco and Los Angeles to less than a half-hour. Musk has kept Hyperloop “open-source” and patent-free to encourage fresh thinking and drive innovative approaches to this revolutionary concept, whether the ideas came from students, independent engineering teams, or entrepreneurs.

For more information about the Purdue Hyperloop Team visit www.purdue.edu/hyperloop. To learn more about BitFlow frame grabbers, visit www.bitflow.com.

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