MIT student constructs Mario Kart racer power slides through hallways with impunity

first_imgHere’s a story for all of you out there that had parents that told you that playing video games would never make you any money. Charles Guan, a MIT grad student, successfully created a working replica of the vehicles from Super Mario Kart. Powered by four individual motors attached to its wheels, Guan’s kart can reach speeds upwards of 26 mph and has the ability to make some insane turns when the pilot uses their weight to lean into the curves. Even more impressive is the fact that he fabricated it in just three weeks, using some brilliant ideas, possibly instilled in him from that excellent technical education he received.Officially known as the “Chibikart,” the miniature vehicle employs some interesting mechanics to achieve those speeds and cornering abilities. First, as you will notice from the picture above, it’s built to be as light weight as possible. In comparison to a fellow student’s kart project that is to the right of the Chibikart, Guan’s version looks stripped down and has noticeably smaller wheels. With  a frame that is a mere 30-inches long and 18-inches wide, there really isn’t much room to put much on the vehicle anyways as the racer is built for speed and efficiency.Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is exactly what did Guan use to make this little rig travel so fast? The answer comes in the form of some simple electronics that come from China, and a battery that “isn’t supposed to exist yet.”Because Guan fancies himself more of a tinkerer rather than an inventor, he’s always on the lookout for different kinds of parts that he can scavenge and repurpose or are available at a lower cost than normal market prices. It also helps that he’s in the middle of a university that can get its hands on items that aren’t available on the open market as of yet. Taking advantage of this fact, Guan installed a 32-volt battery and electrical system along with an e-bike controller straight from China to run the power plant of the vehicle. Installed underneath the seat, this combination is enough to power each of the electrical motors installed in the four small wheels and hurtling a rider along at an impressive clip.Guan states on his blog that the theoretical top speed of the Chibikart is around 26 MPH, factoring in estimates for air resistance and the grade of the ground being traversed. Rider weight comes largely into play as well, so a real-life Bowser would slow down the kart, especially when going uphill.To recreate the Chibikart for yourself would be a bit of an expensive venture. While Guan estimates that he put about $1750 in the project between parts and outsourcing some of the metal fabrication, he says in actuality it would cost a consumer up around $3000 since they would have to pay for the battery he got given to him for being an MIT student. Still, if we ever see some hardcore kart street racing happening Fast and Furious style, you can bet we’ll see replicas of this beauty cranking around cones and obstacles. Hopefully they will leave the banana peels at home!Read more at Guan’s site, via Kotakulast_img read more