We’ve seen Mario Kart taken from TV screens to the real world before. It’s not a terribly difficult thing to ; Put on a Mario costume, hop in a go-kart, and hey presto – instant real life Mario Kart. The chaps from National Instruments at Waterloo Labs though, they’re doing it a little differently – by actually including the game’s iconic power-ups and weapons.
Using systems that employ a variety of electric motors, micro-processors and RFID tags, they’ve managed to recreate the effects of Mario Kart Powerups. The course, and all of the karts are outfitted with processors, so it all works together.
What it means, in plain terms, is that should you manage to collect a Star on the course, your Kart will speed up, as if by magic. Hit a bunch of bananas, and you’re kart will skid all over the place. Collect and use a lightning bolt, and all of the other karts slow down.
The folks behind this say they have no plans to commercialise the project, but they bloody well should – because this could make go-karting even more fun. as long as there are no Blue shells, that is.
There’s an overview of the project over at their website, as well as downloadable source code to get it all working yourself, should you have the equipment. Somebody, get on this, ASAP.
Last Updated: January 15, 2013