Mini Go Kart Built In A Day


The crew at the MIT student-run shop MITERS love their go karts, and when sitting around a pile of parts in the middle of the night on Saturday, there was only one thing to do: build a mini electric go kart in a day.

The parts for this were all taken from the jumble of parts lying around the shop: a few scooter wheels, some aluminum tubing, a 1×4″ piece of extrusion, a huge motor, and a ton of A123 cells were enough to ge tthe project started. They began by bolting the back wheel and motor to the aluminum extrusion and machining a simple steering mechanism.

The real fun began when they realized they could fill the aluminum extrusion with batteries, creating a 6S5P pack with the balance connectors and – after a few tries – the proper insulation. Combine all the parts with a Kelly motor controller and an old Brooks saddle, and the MITERS have a fairly light mini go kart that can cruise around the halls at about 15mph. Not much, but it was built in a single sleep-deprived night.

Video of the kart in action below.

19 thoughts on “Mini Go Kart Built In A Day

    1. I am a PhD student at ‘an EU University’ and I can confirm you are talking out of your ass. We dick around all the time, the professor doesn’t care as long as it doesn’t get in the way of us publishing at good conferences. I built a 3D printer with a colleague in our lab after hours, for example.

      I don’t know where you go to school, but please don’t extrapolate your local culture to the rest of us, thank you.

    1. high quality lithium batteries from a company called A123. MIT had access to them, AFAIK they were only ever sold to industrial buyers otherwise.

      Certainly have never seen them on this side of the world.

      1. I was actually making a joke ;)

        I know what A123 is. It is a _brand_, not a format. A123 makes LiPo batteries and cells in various different shapes and sizes.

        The cells they used were A123 BRANDED 18650 Lithium cells. The original write up mentions this fact correctly, the write-up here does not. You cannot go about willy-nilly using a brand to describe a type of object (think sellotape, zamboni etc) when that brand has gone bankrupt.

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