May 10, 2012
Mini Electric Go-Kart Created By MIT Student
Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com
A master's student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has built a miniature electric go-kart named "Chibikart" that can reach a theoretical top speed of 26 mph.
Charles Guan worked on the vehicle for three weeks, finishing the 34" by 18" vehicle for a total of about $1750, according to a report by Gizmodo.
He wrote on his blog about the process of building the Chibikart, giving plenty of photos and "to-do" instructions on how someone could replicate the design themselves.
The motorized vehicle features an adult-sized seat, but rollerblade-sized wheels, as well as a 32-volt lithium iron phosphate battery pack.
Guan said in the blog post that the realistic top speed of the Chibikart is 21 mph, while the theoretical top speed could be 26 mph.
Many tech blogs and news websites claim Guan's inspiration for the project came from Mario Kart, a Nintendo video game that features Mario characters racing around a track in go-karts. However, Guan wrote in an email to RedOrbit that the game had no role in his design.
"I'm actually not sure where it came from or who started it," he said in the email. "In no way was Mariokart an inspiration or a factor in this design."
He even wrote on his blog that for the design to take on characteristics of the Mario Kart video game karts, it would have to have larger wheels.
According to Guan, the idea was actually birthed during a "late-night-CADing-induced 'This is TOTALLY a great idea'" moments. A CAD is a computer-aided-design.
He said none of his projects, which can be found on his blog site are "complete" without a "late-night-CADing-induced" moment.
Other engineering feats that can be found on Guan's blog site include: a shopping cart turned go-kart, an off-road-motorized skateboard called "Land-Bear-Shark", and a quadra-copter known as "Chibicopter."