Drill-powered go cart

Here we have a toy car modified to use a drill as the powertrain. [Hans] has thrown a 12v 4.5 amp battery in to power the motor and it tops out around 9 miles per hour. This is similar in concept to the trash-based go cart from last week but this time there’s video. He’s built a couple of these and there’s footage of both after the break. Our favorite part is from the first video when dad chuckles with glee from behind the camera as son whips around the neighborhood on the mean-sounding machine.

[Thanks Wouter]

36 thoughts on “Drill-powered go cart

  1. That completely rocks!

    Just a warning – I built something very similar for my 3yo. My county DA neighbor warned me that I could easily be arrested for letting my kid drive it if someone get picky. She thought it was stupid, too, but thats where our society is going so she wanted to warn me.
    Just be careful, because if someone turns you in child services will come knocking, and in some areas this is considered reason to take your kids. Same with building a treehouse, etc.
    I do it anyway, and so should you, just remember to keep it out of the public eye.

    1. Oh so its “clever” for the bunch of germans who do it, but not clever when an american Dad thinks of it and actually makes it work? You’re an AH. it is clever and cool and also screw the people who say you could get into trouble with CPS. And yes, i know this is an old post.

  2. That is pretty cool, reminds me I have a 18v drill that has been sitting in a box for a while, I will have to remember this for when my daughter gets old enough to ride one of these.

    *In before some dork says they are unsafe

  3. @cliff – It should work quite well. Mine is also made of two 18v screwgun motors run at 12v through a motorcycle battery. It works quite well. 12v through a battery that can handle a lot of current draw will still give great torque and keep the top speed down (18v was just too fast for a kid – it would wheelie with adults on it!).
    12v also solves the battery life problem, as we discovered drill batteries just won’t go around the block more than once before cashing out.

  4. these are pretty cool, but the savety and overall awesomeness come too short:

    1st. it needs breaks
    a stopper that goes to the back tires or the ground hold in place with a spring or something

    2nd. add
    and there are drills where you can adjust the turning moment, using one of them givey you an extra gearbox so the kid leans what gears do :D

  5. erm, i forgot, a charger that isnt as dangerous as a normal car battery charger would be cool too (maybe with smart charging electronics and red/green led) so the kid also can carge its vehecle

  6. I can’t really tell from the picture: does the drill drive the wheel directly or are there gears/sprockets connecting them?

  7. Adding a cheap garage remote control system from China into the car would give you the ability to remotely cut out the motor if you think your kid is about to get into trouble. I agree with arrangemonk, a brake that the kid can operate should be installed if they can’t easily stop by putting their feet down like the race-car design.

    As an adult I couldn’t fit in one of those cars, that’s why someone made this neat drill adaptor that can be fitted onto many different things, like mini bikes:

  8. @ Stunmonkey

    Props to you for doing it anyway! I have made it a habit of sticking my finger in society’s eye. Were it up to me I’d push it back into the brain pan but thats a metaphor for a another time.

    I saw a fella do this with a battery powered circular saw motor. It had enough torque that his kid pulled him off his feet when he tried to stop it with his hands.

  9. Brakes aren’t needed here, when you cut current to the motor, the vehicles do stop instantly.
    Kids aren’t heavy enough, nor the plastic tires grippy enough, to turn the unpowered gearmotor.

    When they simply let off the pedal the wheels lock and they skid to a stop.

  10. @Stunmonkey, thanks, the drill in question is in a box because of a shattered battery. I figured that i could run it off of a motorcycle one or one of those batteries out of a UPS. I figured 18v would be too much as when your driving lags if your not careful you can dang near break your wrist with it.

  11. He’s driving one wheel with it. Even though it looks like a shaft goes through the drill, it doesn’t. Awesome design. Cheap and very effective.

  12. I agree, he should be wearing a helmet. When they are old enough to understand the risks of not wearing a helmet, then they can choose not to.

    I’m not against the idea at all, and it looks like a lot of fun, but a helmet is the simplest and easiest safety precaution you could add.

  13. >how is it going in a straight line if only one wheel is driven?

    Um, How does your car go in a straight line? It normally has only one wheel driven. Not that unusual really.

  14. To those asking how only one wheel drive makes it go straight. There are three more wheels on this thing, and all of them are pointing in the same direction (when not steering of course). By your logic, your car would spin in a circle if you got out and pushed only one wheel (hint: it doesn’t).
    Stunmonkey had the correct response. Most cars use a differential to drive the front or rear wheels (all wheel drive excluded). Only one wheel is actually receiving power at any given time. This is so that when you go around a corner, the inside tire can spin more slowly than the outside tire. Unfortunately, if you get stuck in mud or ice, one wheel will spin and the other will just sit there.
    There are limited slip differentials, but obviously, this is not one of those.
    Oh, and nice hack. Now I have something to do with my two old drills.

  15. @hang

    Go research Differentials, Go-karts (with fixed Axle), LSDs etc.

    I cant be bothered to explain all the laws of physics involved.

    When i was a kid my pedal kart was one wheel drive.

  16. @ Doug
    Provided that both wheels have traction to keep from spinning, a differential provides power to both. If you jacked a fwd car off the ground, both wheels would spin, unless one of you brakes was dragging, or you had shot bearings on one side.

  17. You’re both right.

    An normal open differential will power both wheels if they both have equal traction. If they don’t, the torque will go to the wheel with the least traction.

    Powering one wheel is sufficient on a low-powered vehicle like this. If it had a lot of torque the steering would tend to “pull” to one side, but for the power levels we’re talking about, that won’t be very noticeable. Go-karts often have only one wheel driven to avoid the complexity of a diff.

  18. Just what America’s children sorely need: Yet another activity they could engage in without busting a sweat. (Or should I say ‘busting a gut’? Yup! Junior is looking more and more like a chip off the ol’ boulder [sic] — the very big boulder — everyday. Atta boy…eh, and girl!) These kids belong on a bike, exercising their hearts and arteries. Girls: It’s better then sticking your fingers down your throat. Boys: It will increase your stamina in the sack. Dad will explain, if he remembers. (I know, I know. They’ll only “ride electric” sometimes. A-huh. You get them away from the PC yet? Oh, that’s right — you do. Long enough to drive a drill around the block. LOL) There will be a brave, new, electric car future for them — I promise — replete with great battery life, provided they survive into adolescence to enjoy it. And at the rate I’m seeing them “expand”, many of these kids will be seeing the interior of a double-wide ambulance before a learners permit. (I won’t even start in on helmet wearing, nor the unacceptability of the “skid to a stop”, “pull-the-plug/cut-the-juice” braking method. Is that anything like the dive head first into a shallow pond, gravity and fluid density will stop you, method? And people wonder why I’m paid so much.)

    End of rant.

  19. I love the way all of these people have ideas on the way that the builder “should” have done this project. Go ahead and build one yourself and stop worrying about the way this father lets his child have fun. I’ll bet these are the same dads who wont let their kids play tag or dodgeball at school. I built lots of riding junk as a kid and none of it ever had brakes. Nothing as cool as this thing thats for sure. We had a three wheeled contraption called the looney goose. fronts forks off a bike and a wooden platform with. mower seat and two back wheels. Like a homemade Big Wheel without pedals ( OR brakes, actually it did have brakes. It was called drag your feet and hold on to your A$$) We played on that thing a,l summer. it was not a precision machine to say the least. It was not safe, our butts and legs got plenty of splinters, we scraped knees and elbows and guess what? we lived to talk about it and nobody went to jail. We’d go screaming down hill as fast as it would go. Simple, you bail out onto someones grass when you get to the bottom or wear lots of layers of clothes and take your chances on the sidewalk.

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