Electric Go-Kart Made From Off The Shelf Components

Eletctric go kart
What would you do with a catalog of parts and a nice budget? [Ben Rothschild] decided to build an electric go-kart from scratch, for a contest he’s trying to win.

He designed the entire go-kart in 3D CAD using off the shelf components to speed up assembly. The frame is made of aluminum extrusion with t-bolt brackets, and he’s using modified FIRST Robotics wheels with standard #25 chain and sprockets.

Two 1850W Turnigy SK3 brushless motors make up the drive system, equivalent to almost a 5HP engine — except with a constant torque profile, meaning it’ll have no problem going up hills at 3km/h or 30km/h, no gearing necessary! To power the beast he’s using four hard-shell LiPo batteries (4S1P), which are rated for 14.8V and 5Ah. Two el cheap-o 24V 500W speed controllers (slightly concerning) provide the control system, which he may plan to upgrade in the near future.

The test drive video is a bit short, but it looks like with a bit more work this go-kart could have a lot of potential!

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Wii remote controling the vehicle you’re riding in

Make sure your health insurance premiums are all paid up; if you decide to replicate this project you may need it. [Corey], [Kris], and [Jess] built their own go cart which is controlled with a Wii remote. The website has a poor navigation scheme, but if you hover over the horizontal menu bar you can get quite a bit of information about the build.

The cart has two motors which use a chain to drive each of the rear wheels. A pair of H-bridge controllers let the Arduino interface with them. It’s also has a Bluetooth module that makes it a snap to pull accelerometer data from the Wii remote. The front end looks like it uses rack and pinion steering, but you won’t find a pinion or a steering column. Instead, a linear actuator is mounted parallel to the rack, moving it back and forth at the command of the Arduino.

We can’t help but think back to silent movies where the steering wheel comes loose in the middle of a car chase. See if you get the same image while watching the demo after the break. This doesn’t seem quite as dangerous as adding remote control to a full-sized automobile, but we’ve played MarioKart Wii before and know how lousy the accelerator performance can be. Hopefully the firmware kills the motors if the batteries in the controller die.

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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.

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