MIT Student Builds Awesome Working Mario Kart, Documents Process Every Step Of The Way

A self-described electromechanical hobbyist and MIT student named Charles Guan is the mastermind behind the Chibikart, a motorised Mario Kart-like vehicle built from scratch.

On his blog, Charles states that Chibikart took him a total of three weeks to build, "from [announcement] to first ride test," which seems like just absolutely no time at all.

I reached out to Charles via email, curious to find out how much a project like this would cost a person...

The battery pack was an exclusive that he was given at no cost, but it's not on the market. "An equivalent lithium ion battery of that size is about $US250 to $US400 depending on quality/grade. ($250 for two model aeroplane batteries, and for a vehicle grade pack.)"

"The motors have about $250 of materials and machining time put into them," — which, with a total of 4 motors, is another $US1k of expenses — "but it's not a cost I paid directly," Charles explains, "because I already had many of their parts." Factor in about $300 of "direct frame material and hardware costs" and a scratch estimate would put the cost to build the Chibikart at about $1300. (With the caveat that the battery cost isn't really known.)

Building a Chibikart from scratch, if you don't already have some of these parts, could set you back as much as $1750 (factoring in the higher-cost equivalent lithium ion battery).

He documents the whole assembly, tweaks and setbacks and all. So I fully expect a fleet of copycat Chibikarts to appear in the coming months. Which would be great. Especially if someone built one for me.

Chibikart Specs

• Frame size: 34" by 18"

• Motors: Custom-wound and packaged direct drive hub motor, 300W peak each*

• Wheels: 100mm 87A skate wheels

• Battery: 32v 9Ah lithium iron phosphate pack

• Controllers: 350w-class Mysterious Chinese Sensorless e-Bike Controllers ("Jasontroller")

• Top speed, theoretical: 26mph (voltage & motor RPM/V & wheel diameter)

• Top speed, realistic: 21mph**

• Actual top speed: To be determined.

*30 second "peak" rating at 20 amperes

**Factoring in conservative estimates for air drag, and motor resistive losses at-speed, smooth and level ground assumed.

[EqualsZero via BuzzFeed]


Comments

    How did they follow the cart and take video?

      I thought it looked like he was on a slider or something.

        someone was just running behind it with a camera... what would have been (more) impressive would have been some sort of slider (as suggested) on felt say, and a camera rig with a wide angle lens.

    Add a bit extra cash to get a casing to make it even more mario kart-ish. Maybe a rack on the back for Bananas. (because we don't want to get into trouble with the RSPCA for hunting turtles for their shells).

    How does this have anything to do with mario kart? It seems to me that this is just an electric go-kart, am I missing something?

    No drift = no Mario kart.

    Sorry buddy

    This is so not a Mario kart. Wheels r wrong and needs more dressing.

    This is so not a Mario kart. Wheels and steering wheel r wrong and needs body panels. This is like building a go kart and calling it a Porsche 911 because it has 4 wheels and a seat! :P

    Stick to Chibikart and drop any relation to Mario. Along with what the above posters have listed it needs a petrol motor to be a Mario Kart.

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