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]


    I would pay money for one of those!

    Im surpized how much traction that thing gets going around corners

      It's 4wd. If they removed the power to the front wheels it would be a completely different story.

    True dat.

    Now we need the shells to spin in a circle aorund the cart and BOOM!

    "Mario Kart-like vehicle".. you mean like a go kart? which have existed since the late 50s and are probably cheaper to buy/ build?

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