HOW IT WORKS
Hacking go-karts into the racecars of the Mario Kart videogame series was no simple feat. Four interns from Waterloo Labs began with standard four-stroke-engine vehicles and added components such as ruggedized cRIO computer controllers, Wi-Fi routers, and RFID readers.
1) TOY CANNON
Compressed air fed into a PVC pipe can blast a plush toy at competitors as far as 30 feet away.
Zip ties, brackets, and other removable hardware made all modifications reversible.
3) AIR TANKS
A 3,000psi paintball tank stores 48 cubic inches of air to charge add-on pistons.
A suite of gadgets can detect the RFID codes of objects on the track and then control the kart.
A 130psi air piston attached to each tie rod can steer a kart off-course.
6) BRAKE OVERRIDE
A valve can depress the brake pedal by directing high-pressure air into a piston.
Time: 8 weeks
WARNING: We review all our projects before publishing them, but ultimately your safety is your responsibility. Always wear protective gear, take proper safety precautions, and follow all laws and regulations.
This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Popular Science. See the rest of the magazine here.
AWESOME - just checked out their website too. They need to put these in amusement parks.
While totally awesome, I wonder about a vehicle design where you reach your hand out of the vehicle to tire level while racing others nearby, to grab something. That's gonna be a nutcrakker. Can't be insured. Gotta make a mechanical scoop or claw or something. Also, firing things at others or driving over things; which then affects user control unexpectedly. The idea is fantastic-and would likely be very popular anywhere, but some real safety backups will need to be made. It's Mariokart, not Deathrace. Me? HELL YES I'D RACE ONE. My kids? As if I'd let them.
--Mechanical scoop or claw--Vacuum scoop. As for the safety vs unexpected driving characteristics, a start might be full motorcycle body armor. Expensive? Yes. But well worth it if you can then get insurance.
Looking at the pic again, the little motor on the outside of your cannon could be moved, and the tube made to rotate out and down with a sleeve on the tube primary section to sukk up stuff to fire. If it's made to rotate down for only a short time you won't smash up as many tubes. And no one need take a hand from the wheel just as someone else hits them with a banana.
Couldn’t this all be done much more convincingly with augmented reality? You could keep control system over-ride stuff, but remove the physical firing cannons and pick-up-items. Items, picked up and fired, would be digital. You could even add in some animations for explosions as items hits karts… Princess would be waving to you from the sideline.
It could be done with augmented reality but then the price tag just jumped up to a tens of thousands of dollars.
This is a far simpler and cheaper way of testing and proving concept.
Why not combine it w/ an occulus rift? just mount some camera's to the rift and add all the objects by painting them over the actual video footage in real time.
LOL. This is your basic FRC robot. The RFID though is very unique and cool. I would really like to see this in theme parks but it still needs a little bit of work. You need to make the design more elegant and easier to mass produce. There is also the safety concern. Maybe there could be a way where they don't actually ever have grabe the objects. They could drive under the boxes and the box will contain an RFID tag that will give them a power like the green shell then the computer can set an object preloaded into the cannon and fire that with the unique ID of what was in the box ie. the green shell. By combining some virtual elements into it but still keeping the feel of the game real you can achieve a fun and safe environment.
"Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever." -Aristophanes
"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" - Alvin Toffler
While reading the article, I too was concerned about safety, and thought, like conjrr, of maybe using augmented reality.
In order to keep at least some of the game tangible, I had a similar idea as EnDeR Wiggin regarding the cannon. The cart cannon could use pre-loaded Nerf-style balls that could have their RFID tags programmed in-game based off of the mystery box that a driver passes. However, I don't think anyone would complain too much if this feature was replaced by augmented reality as well. I think the greatest enhancement to the Mario Kart experience would simply be to actually drive a cart.
I also agree with Bagpipes100. I think technologies such as Oculus Rift have made augmented reality financial feasible for something like this.
I know that's a long-winded way of saying I agree, but I think its important to note when innovators think alike.
If I ever have the money for a GoKart place, I'm totally doing a version of this and giving you guys free passes.
just before I checked out the bill of exchange of $5122, I did not believe that...my... brothers friend was actualey receiving cash part-time from there new portable computer.. there dads pal has been doing this for beneath fifteen months and recently cleard the morgage on their appartment and bourt a brand new Ford Focus. we have a tendency to looked here...... www.bay95.com
These guys are awesome.
I have a project to develop this in real-life with augmented reality glasses. See it here
and please vote to support it !!
This is our chance for all of us to experience it for real :D