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Future high-speed rail: Magnet free leviating locomotive.

London, May 19 (ANI): Existing levitating trains try to minimise drag by using magnets, which reduce friction between the rail and cars.

But now, a Japanese research team led by Yusuke Sugahara at Tohoku University has built a robotic 'ground-effect' vehicle that does not use magnets to create the air cushion sandwich between the train and the rails; but instead uses stubby little wings and fast-moving air to fly just inches above the ground.

Called Aero Train, this ground-effects vehicle will be used to test an autonomous three-axis stabilization system.

Despite its low-flying design, the vehicle must still be controlled around three axes just like an airplane, reports New Scientist.

If the project proves successful, Sugahara and his team hope to scale up the design to accommodate a human passenger.

The idea could eventually be used to create high-speed trains that could travel at 200 kilometres per hour and levitate without magnets.

The vehicle was presented at the recent International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Shanghai, China. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:May 19, 2011
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