Swissloop Tunneling - Innovation in Tunneling

We are Swissloop Tunneling, a student initiative at ETH Zurich ( We were the only Swiss team to have won, with our tunnel boring machine “GROUNDHOG ALPHA”, the second place prize as well as the Design and Innovation Award at Elon Musk’s Not-a-Boring Competition in Las Vegas in September 2021. 

We are now looking for potential partners to support us in our efforts to continue revolutionising the tunneling industry.We are building a tunnel boring machine that can create a self-supporting tunnel structure. This should enable the Hyperloop concept to become feasible in the future, which can only be achieved if tunnels can be built in a fast and cheap manner.With your support, you can bring us a significant step closer to our goals.

These would be:

1.        Participation in the Elon Musk Competition (Not a Boring Competition Part 2, Summer 2022) in the USA.

2.        Digging Event in Switzerland (trade fair presentation, demonstration of tunnel boring machine, with partner stands)

3.        Improving the machine (replacing subsystems of the machine and implementing new parts & systems)

Your partnership in particular, would allow us to redesign and significantly improve our current electrical systems.

Our current system is made up of five subsystem PCBs (that are used to interface several subsystems on our tunnel boring machine), the main unit PCB (for overall control and communication), and the starting area unit PCB (for interfaces not directly on the tunnel boring machine, but rather with the operators in the starting area). The main unit is controlled by a Raspberry Pi 4, and each of the embedded subsystem PCBs are interfaced with a Raspberry Pi Pico. For a more detailed overview of our current machine, please see the attached documentation.

With the upcoming iteration, we will be refactoring our electrical systems and making them more simple and robust by replacing the five unique subsystem PCBs with a single modular design with an integrated RP2040 chip that can be used across all subsystems. We would also be simplifying and refactoring our Main and Starting Area Unit PCB designs.

For this, we will need our new custom PCB designs to be manufactured, assembled, and we would also be looking to secure our PCBs inside a custom watertight enclosure. With this, we would love to collaborate with you and form a partnership in order to make this a reality.

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Dec 05,2021
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