Fankart And The HolyF***k!ted Fan

Inspired by a ducted fan project to simulate lunar landers he had seen recently, [Charles Guan] decided to do the next logical thing and make a ducted fan driven shopping cart.  The first iteration had a bare prop mounted to the front of the cart. Steering was done by mounting a servo to the front wheels.  This ridiculously dangerous shopping cart can be seen in the videos buzzing around the halls and parking lots of MIT. The second iteration that has the ducted fan drive seems not only slightly safer, but somewhat quicker as well. He does mention that the prop shape isn’t really optimal for a ducted design, so expect future revisions to be everything you would expect from a fan powered shopping cart.

He has built a more practical mobile shopping cart, if there is such a thing, called Lolriokart. This thing probably deserves its own post as well as it is a fully drive-able shopping cart. You can see a video of it in action after the break.


[via Makezine]

44 thoughts on “Fankart And The HolyF***k!ted Fan

  1. @osgeld: You seem to worry too much. I’d be much more concerned with the engineers produced today that shouldn’t have actually made it through more than those who are actually willing to get their hands dirty.

    I like a clean finished hack as much as the next guy, but when I discovered the wonders of hot glue, it was all over (and most of my projects still didn’t look half bad).

  2. I have been following this guy’s site for a while- good stuff going on. Anybody have information on the NiCad batteries he eventually used on the first kart? Can’t find any information on that in the writeup.

  3. @osgeld:

    Boy, have you come to the wrong place if you’re going to cut down on duct tape. (Hey, it was a ducted fan, so it’s only appropriate that it’s secured with duct tape, right?)

    As for your overpass, I live in Pennsylvania, home of the infamous PennDOT. State Sign: “Road construction, next 300 miles”. State joke: “Men working”. Our overpasses would last longer if they were made from duct tape.

  4. @osgeld: When it’s a public project (overpass) and on the government’s dollar, they’ll use the good materials. When it’s their own project and they are paying for it, you can’t beat duct tape for versatility and speed of producing a working prototype.

  5. @sillygolem

    thats epic

    and to all you haters, you would be amazed at what the right amount of duct tape can do and/or fix

    esp when you’re just messing around or trying to prototype something

  6. “and to all you haters”

    I am the only one that said anything about duct tape genius, so forgive me if I dont take the advice of someone who cant count to 1

    to the rest of you, Damn! its just a 1 line comment about duct tape, here is a use for ya, use it to get that sand out of your vag, its making you irritable

  7. Hi Osgeld,

    Duct tape was used as a quick mounting solution in lieu of the custom plasma arc welded 6-4 titanium tube structure that we designed to envelop the duct (and act as a laminar flow inlet to boot).

    We even ran the FEA stress analysis tests on it, along with the shopping cart body (safety factor of well over 9000), but our welder was out of gas from the set of solid Inconel anti-wear rings that we made for the two front casters last weekend.

    And the guy who knows how to use the welder was tired from having to retie the string that connected the steering servo to the front wheels like 5 times.

  8. Im sorry to say this, but..
    This is a dumb hack. If you can even call it that. Any two bit tard can take a fan and mount it on a shopping cart. I understand the whole “DO IT BECAUSE I CAN” idea, but still this is definitely not H.A.D. worthy. Especially coming from an MIT student.

    I’m not saying he is dumb, rather that this thing is dumb.

    P.S. Duct tape is a wonderful thing for temporary repairs. but definitely not a long term fix


    I couldn’t stop laughing at this- and I don’t laugh at much. This is hilarious, I really, really want to make one of these now!

  10. @osgeld: I’m quite familiar with PennDOT and equally skeptical of their ‘work ethic’ and lack of ‘doing things right’. You’re preaching to the choir on that one.

    I actually think that the City of Pittsburgh’s roads would be *better* if they used duct tape instead of cold patch. ;)

  11. Man, what a great idea. Steal part of your project! Awesome. I’m going to steal a car and modify it so an Arduino controls the wiper timing to give me millisecond resolution.

    I mean, that’s cool, right? No big deal if I steal a car. It’s not like I’ll steal a nice car. I’ll just rip off an old beater because hacking is all about stealing what you need when you need it. I have an idea for a bicycle hack, and there’s tons of bikes in my neighborhood. I see a free “donation” to my cause coming up soon!

    Hell, I think I’ll steal some food from the supermarket and hack that! I mean, there’s no difference between stealing food to hack it and stealing an expensive shopping cart, right? The key is that I hacked it. If I steal a bag of potatoes and use one to power some low power CMOS clock, that’s cool, right?

    The whole stealing thing is something we can all gloss over and get behind because we’re hackers and we’re awesome! Wow, if I knew hacking involved free stuff whenever I want it, I would have started hacking years ago. In fact, I have some ideas for hacking a Movado watch, and there’s a jewelery store nearby. This should be an excellent hack! I’ll be sure to submit it! Yeah!!!!!

  12. “”@osgeld: I’m quite familiar with PennDOT and equally skeptical of their ‘work ethic’ and lack of ‘doing things right’. You’re preaching to the choir on that one.””

    um I did not make that comment, I live sorta close to Penn, if you consider 16 hours close

  13. @FredP you can buy shopping carts.

    I just saw some plastic ones for $25. I imagine the wire ones might be held up by their potential scrap value, but you can probably get them for nearly as cheap.

  14. FredP clearly doesn’t live here in Cambridge. Drunk hobos steal shopping carts from stores all the time, then leave them on street corners. The stores don’t even give a shit enough to come and get them (much less guard them or keep them inside), so the carts sit until they’re piles of rust and useless for anything but scrap, and meanwhile are eyesores and make the place look terrible. I’m glad those kids are (heaven forbid) doing something productive with them and may be (oh my god) learning something or making themselves better, or (inconceivable!) just having some fun!

  15. @teamtestbot This is totally HaD worthy, I can’t ride the shopping carts at my stores, and if I could, they would not go as fast as the electric cart you made.

    @FredP How do you know he stole a shopping cart? Where did it say stolen shopping cart?

    @Megan Duct tape is certainly capable of doing long term repairs. It is what it is designed for. Although there is some controversy of how it got it’s name, it is certainly used for air ducts. And in some circumstances the tape adhesive bond is stronger than the material. I have seen duct tape repairs that have survived twenty years. If you ever get sent to a deserted island and you are allowed three items, duct tape should be one of them.

    Really, I don’t think Osgeld was really downing on the tape, it is just one of the random noises he generates. I can not think of anything that anyone who tinkers would want to have in their toolbox more than duct tape.

    I would wager Pennsylvania probably used duct tape to put up the Men at Work sign.

  16. “‘it is just one of the random noises he generates.””

    Thank you!

    and for the record I dont own duct tape, I have gorilla tape, good stuff, basically contact cement stuck on rubberized canvas

  17. @Jack
    I don’t think it’s steerable. They kinda run it into the wall because of lack of steering.

    It is remote controlled though, and still a very cool hack. Good work MiT.

  18. Actually, it’s very steerable. If you watch the video closely, you’d see a R/C servo zip tied to the undercarriage. It pulls on the front casters using some string.

    It’s marginal, but due to entropy inherent in the cart’s motion, the thing does steer when moving…

  19. I’m surprised at the number of whiny babies commenting on this project.

    Hate for duct tape?
    Ethics lessons with shopping carts as the fulcrum?

    It’s gotta be a joke, right?

  20. @okay

    I suspect that it might not have enough power to propel a passenger. But, who knows? This is how hovercrafts and swamp boats are propelled, after all, but the kind of friction I get from shopping carts of the human-powered variety give me little hope for a fan-powered one that can push humans unless you want to strap a jet engine or the turbine from a wind tunnel onto it.

  21. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that the LOLrio Kart has already had it’s own mention page on HAD. It may have been a year ago or more, but it has been mentioned. Maybe none of you were here that long ago.

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