People seem to have a blast playing Mario Kart. I’ve heard friends talk about playing for hours at a time and about how they wished they could play it in real life. Well, Waterloo Labs has made it possible.
The group of engineers at Waterloo Labs figure out how to put together everyday technologies for replicable innovations. Basically, they dream up crazy and cool projects and share the hows and whys with the world. In a recent episode, they explored re-creating Nintendo’s Mario Kart game on a real track.
They came up with a go-kart system where players can race around the track and gather items as they go. The items they grab can change the behavior of the go-karts. Here’s the overview of the system:
The go-karts behave normally until an item is detected. RFID tags embedded into each item transmit signals to the readers located on each kart. The compact RIO (cRIO) processes these signals and outputs the signals to control the corresponding pneumatic valves and servo motors that control the movement of the go kart. Steering is controlled with two pneumatic cylinders and the brake with one cylinder. The governor, or speed limiter, is controlled with two servo motors.
You know what that breaks down to? Going around a track on go-karts collecting stars and dodging obstacles like chain chomps. Yes, it looks as awesome as it sounds.
Watch the video after the break to see how it works.
You can download the entire project at Waterloo Labs.