Engineers and Their Life-Size Mario Karts

At NIWeek 2011, National Instruments showed off some of its capabilities through a larger-than-life version of Angry Birds called Angry Eagles. Now, NI has its hands in the life-size creation of another video game — this time Mario Kart.

Engineers at Waterloo Labs, which was started by NI engineers to create cowboy engineering projects, created a real-life, playable version of the game first played on Super Nintendo in the early '90s. With four NI CompactRIOs, servos, pneumatics, RFID tags and LabView system design software, the team converted ordinary go-karts into wirelessly controllable game karts.

Mario KartTo create real-life Mario Kart, the engineers needed to be able to control the car automatically, include something to launch things like turtle shells at other drivers, and develop a system that recognizes when a kart runs over things, like a banana peel. Using information received from RFID tags embedded in the items picked up on the track, the cRIO device determines which action to perform on the vehicle, such as slamming on the brakes, turning off the gas or locking the steering wheel.

The go-karts behave normally until an item is detected. The cRIO processes the signals from the RFID tags and outputs the signals to control the corresponding pneumatic valves and servo motors that control the movement of the go-kart. Steering is controlled with two pneumatic cylinders and the brake with one cylinder. The governor, or speed limiter, is controlled with two servo motors.

More News:

  • Patent Dispute Settled Between Rockwell Automation and Beckhoff Automation

    Rockwell Automation's linear motor business, including its recent Jacobs Automation acquisition, has developed a substantial portfolio of patents comprising over 100 issued patents on linear motor technology alone.

  • Mergers, Acquisitions Alliances and Noteworthy News in Robotics

    Iten Industries, manufacturer of advanced composite components and materials headquartered in Ashtabula, Ohio, is now offering additive manufacturing and 3D printing services.

  • U.S. Economy Looks Up for Manufacturing Industries

    The August PMI is led by the highest recorded New Orders Index since April 2004, when it registered 67.1%.

  • ASME Forum Ignites 21st-Century Engineering

    Founder and president of HMI/SCADA software developer Iconics, Russ Agrusa, said the company is focusing on how to harness big data on any device and in any class of applications, and turn it into predictive analytics in manufacturing and business intelligence.

  • New Customer Care Center for Endress+Hauser

    To help customers keep up with today's challenges, Endress+Hauser's new, state-of-the-art Customer Center is suited to greet visitors with a top-notch certified training facility with multiple classrooms and its largest yet PTU controlled by Rockwell Automation's PlantPAx system for real-world process simulation with over 120 measuring points.

  • The Rise of Aluminum in the Industrial Sector

    It is not just price that makes aluminum appealing when put alongside copper in the production of items like electrical wires and cables, though.

  • Maverick Acquires CQS Innovation Expanding Process Expertise in the Life Sciences Industry

    The acquisition expands Maverick's size and scale as a global organization with 19 office locations and 500+ engineering professionals. In addition, Chris Roerig, current president of CQS Innovation, will join Maverick as industry manager for life sciences.

  • ISA Offers Cybersecurity Certificate Program

    The program consists of passing a course on using the ANSI/ISA-62443 standards to secure industrial control systems. The course is available in the classroom or online. Students must also pass a written exam in the classroom or online.

  • Fieldbus Groups 'Unite'

    The combined power of both organizations will aim to protect the investments that end users in process automation have made in HART and Foundation fieldbus communication technologies.

  • Guess Who Just Turned 125 Years Old?

    ABB recently celebrated its 125th anniversary in Finland.

All news »

What are your comments?

Join the discussion today. Login Here.

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments