Waterloo Labs rigged up four go-karts to manipulate the throttle, gas and brakes along with an RFID Item system so they could make a real-life, playable version of the Nintendo game Mario Kart.
To recreate the game, they built a system to control the movements of the go-karts (speed, brakes, and steering) as well as a wireless communication system. This allowed the players to race around the track and pick up RFID-tagged items that altered the behavior of the go-karts, in a similar way to the actual game.
The embedded tags transmitted signals to the readers on each kart and when an item was detected, the compact RIO outputted signals to control the corresponding pneumatic valves and servo motors that control the movements.
As DVICE notes, grabbing a mushroom removed the throttle limit on a kart to simulate a speed boost, while using the lightning bolt switched the brakes on everyone else’s kart to replicate a stun. Steering was controlled with two pneumatic cylinders, the brake with one cylinder, and the speed limiter, with two servo motors. You can check out the real-life Mario Kart in the video below: