Mario Kart is a great game to whip out when you have guests, and while you could play Mario Kart on a real-life racetrack, part of the fun is picking up items to aid you in winning, such as banana peels to shoot and mushrooms that give your go-kart a boost.
Fortunately, Waterloo Labs figured out a way to make the Mario Kart experience real. The team not only built a system that controls what the karts do while you drive them around, but also a communication network that lets you pick up items and use them. By Picking up these items, you can change the go-kart’s behavior.
Each item on the track has an RFID tag embedded on it, and each cart has an on-board RFID reader that processes the tags and sends instructions to either pneumatic or servo controls on the kart when you grab an item.
Tap the item against a peer’s kart and it causes their kart’s brakes, steering or throttle to react appropriately—you’ll come to a stop, get a locked steering wheel, or lose acceleration, depending on the item launched your way. Oh, and to make it even more fun, a pneumatic canon strapped to the kart lets you launch items at other drivers.
Now if you excuse me, I’m going to create a Mario Kart experience go-kart racing business...
This story, "You can now play Mario Kart for real, but banana peels are a very real risk" was originally published by TechHive.