Waterloo Labs' penchant for recreating video games with real life objects and functionality is alive and well. For their latest project, the Texas-based engineering turned their attention to rigging up go-karts with a real working item system to replicate Mario Kart's zany kart racing.
Creating a real life Mario Kart is actually quite simple by Waterloo Labs' explanation. The entire system uses a combination of electric motors with potentiometers, pneumatic pistons, RFID tags embedded with programmed commands and CompactRIO controllers.
When a user grabs an item box, a reader in their kart scans the RFID tag inside and then dishes out a command. For example, a mushroom removes the throttle limit on a kart to simulate a speed boost and a lightning bolt switches the brakes on everyone else's karts to replicate a stun.
For firing shells, each go-kart has a 12-volt battery which connects to an electric air compressor tube that can be pressurized to 120 psi.
It's all good harmless fun until you run into the Chomp Chomp chained to the track!
Via Waterloo Labs