Electric go cart from trash

A quick lesson on being a good parent. If you make an awesome electronic cart out of trash that may not necessarily be stable, or even fully capable of stopping once it gets going, you MUST put your children on it and insist that they drive. Did we mention that the system is full acceleration or no acceleration? Indeed, it is. There isn’t a writeup, and one really isn’t needed. This is dead simple. The parts list will explain most of what is going on, but the look of doubt and fear on the kids face is what really makes this hack worth it. Or is that possibly a look that says “what are you looking at?”

[via Flickr]

Comments

  1. loans says:

    “the system is full acceleration or no acceleration”

    Don’t forget full acceleration in the negative axis!

  2. slipster says:

    Left button on the H steering for full forward
    Right button on the H steering for full backward

    … if you push them both at the same time does it explode?

  3. Icarus says:

    A handbrake would be awesome.
    Can’t you stop just using the full backward button?
    I wish I had that when I was a kid…
    I’m surprised, no one talked about a helmet yet.
    Hooray!
    (crap I just did)

  4. polymath says:

    needs a rocket booster…

  5. Mark says:

    That kid really needs a helmet.

  6. steve says:

    Why, oh why, is there no video of this awesome contraption in action?

  7. IceBrain says:

    This is nice indeed, but I second the need for a video!

  8. NatureTM says:

    Reminds me of when I was a kid my dad “hacked” an old lawn mower for me to use as a go cart. In this case, “hacked” means taking off the blade and getting it to run again. I remember it was a all or nothing acceleration situation ’cause you couldn’t just ease off the clutch. You’d try but the thing would jerk forward causing you to pull the clutch out all the way very suddenly. My mom would never have let me ride it with all the almost flipping backwards/sideways going on.
    Come to thing of it, I hurt myself many, many times on things my dad fixed/hacked for me. I think he must have been the inspiration behind my love of hacks and foolish risk-taking.

  9. TheDudeFromMiamiVice says:

    Helmets stop the weak from being weeded out of the gene pool.

    Thats an awesome contraption, now it needs a set of gears so that he can get doing 90 km/h

  10. Acoggin says:

    That kid doesn’t need a helmet. He’s not jumping 13 buses.

    The motor could use a little repositioning. We would have that ripped off in no time. Also, go karts typically have a very low center of gravity for safety. I think one could roll this cart with relative ease. Great idea though, I’m turning over plans in my head for my little girl.

  11. rob says:

    my dad built stuff like this for us when we were kids. he made what was pretty much a 2 wheel version of this that used an electric golf cart motor. lacking actual trees in our back yard he built a “tree house” which was really an 8×8 shack on top

    with this particular one, i can’t help but see much potential for it to be dressed up into a halo-like vehicle. expand it a bit for a standing passenger and add a paintball gun turret.

    my kids will probably spend a lot of time in juvy…

  12. Alastair says:

    Suck it, Power Wheels.

  13. rob says:

    oh i didn’t finish the treehouse sentence there…it was an 8×8 shack on top of 4 discarded telephone poles. the floor of the shack was about 14′ up. we had a rope ladder through a trapdoor in the middle of it and at one point ran a zip line from it to the swingset on the other side of the yard.

    point being, build some crazy shit for your kids and let them break some bones, it builds character.

  14. Mike D. says:

    God Bless You, sir. A fine example of American Rebellion.

  15. jeditalian says:

    lol no speed controller. thats not really something you find in the trash. i could build a ghetto one out of trash, but being a variable resistor, it would drain the battery.
    i like the idea of using the reverse button to slow down. at least in the yard because it would leave some nice skidmarks devoid of vegetation.
    lol thats ghetto, he needs some good batteries. said they drained in 15 minutes, took 12 hours to charge

  16. Patrick says:

    That kid looks Mentally Challenged.

    So, he should not be operating the vehicle.

    Helmet, or no helmet – get him off ASAP !!!

  17. jeditalian says:

    lets see some chainsaw-powered trashmobiles now :D

  18. Arduino says:

    @TheDudeFromMiamiVice: Because we don’t want intelligent people in the gene pool?

  19. napalm says:

    “you MUST put your children on it and insist that they drive”

    I second that. Children make good test subjects, they heal fast.

  20. Mic says:

    That kid doesn’t look all that happy with his electric trash cart.

    @napalm True but brain damage can persist! I had a teacher who said, “babies are great if you drop em they just bounce they don’t break anything.” I was a bit concerned when he had announced his first born child 2 months later…

  21. Mic says:

    @jeditalian A variable resistor by itself? I assume not. That would create a flaming garbage cart.

  22. jeditalian says:

    lol isnt that more fun than a non-flaming garbage cart?
    okay i dont know anything about building my own speed controller. i was just thinking a ghetto improvisation would be a sort of mechanical variable resistor, which would waste energy and create heat

  23. j9 says:

    My dad made one for me 37 years ago (I’m 40 now). Made it out of a car battery, steel from an old antifreeze can (from TG&Y), some wiper motors, and wheels from an old lawnmower. I still have the thing, though I wouldn’t put my kids on it :)

  24. Michiel145 says:

    Pffff…., I wish I got a dad like that.
    I had to convert my own little kart thingy…. :|

  25. blizzarddemon says:

    Needs more Arduinos : D

  26. andrew says:

    This project is REALLY old, but its nice to see it on here anyway.

  27. andrew says:

    I stand corrected, it was only 2008. Must have been thinking of a different one…

  28. TheDudeFromMiamiVice says:

    @Arduino: if you do something that results in your accidental removal from the living, just how smart do you think that person really is?

    haha

    Take it easy, it was a light hearted jab and no where did I mention killing off the smarties, I said the weak, intelligence makes you one of the strong.

    You may now remove your panties from your butt crack.

  29. Eric B. says:

    I saw the word “cart” and expected this to be built in a shopping cart.

    We should totally build that!

  30. Robert Hart says:

    I still have this in the shed, the look of the child is of focused determination not to roll over again and make the corner.

    Helmet,gloves, nee and elbow pads advisable. or lots of soft grass.

    Horrifyingly bad steering and stability, wheel spins when taking of from a stand-still and very dubious breaking (full speed reverse), batteries went flat in 15 minutes and took 12 hours to charge – all in all, a great success!

  31. danahyatt says:

    Perfect! A couple of car batteries and a bigger gear on the starter motor will help. Thiner tires will have less weight per rolling resistance. You have transportation.

  32. blue carbuncle says:

    My first go cart (used) was ragged out and had the idle set too high. You had to stand insside the cart and pull the rope because otherwise you would end up chasing it around the yard until it hit something lol. Good times…

  33. Robert Fart says:

    10 years latter my kids asked me to pull out the go cart. http://www.hardhack.org.au/gocart10yo

    Still works, but their mum says no-way!! the kids can ride it :-(

    Might just build a PWM control just in case she changes her mind.

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