Tech

Real Life Mario Cart, Who’s In

A go cart track that makes the Mario cart a real life race. How many times have you wanted to disable your siblings cart and watch them spin out into the wall as you pass by with a huge smile on your face and take the checkered at the last moment? Until now it has only been a digital representation on the TV. Thanks to Waterloo Labs, we can take it to the streets.

Waterloo Labs, named after Waterloo, Tx, was founded by four engineers at National Instruments. Making interesting combinations of so everyday items, the combined a video game (Mario Cart) with a go cart track. Now were talking.

How was it done? With a combination of single generating devices, and receivers controlling the switches activation valves and controls on each cart. In other words…. very technical. It is not hard to understand though. The system uses Radio-frequency identification (RFID) to transmit signals to the cart. These RFID are contained in the power up objects around the track. The signals are picked up by readers on board the cart. The readers then send a control signal to the corresponding pneumatic valves and motor servos allowing sudden activation of breaks, sudden turning, governed speed, or full throttle capability. Not a complicated system, but does give you the feel of actually taking part with Mario and Luigi.

There is currently no actual tracks set up anywhere. They had a temporary set up in Austen TX. So where will the first real Mario Track find a home, or will it?

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