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March 2006 Bianchini
My dad and I originally got the idea of building go-karts when I was 4 years old. After two wooden boards with wheels sat for years in our playroom, we decided we wanted to finish the project when I was 9. The humble vision of a push-powered soapbox derby transformed into three customized, eye-catching electric go-karts with forward and reverse drive, horn, headlights, and personalized paint jobs for my and my sisters' unique personalities.
Fostering my love for engineering
While my dad was the engineer behind coming up with how to make my ideas work, I was his righthand kid every step of the way. This longterm project taught me how to use power and hand tools, how to go through the design process, and how to troubleshoot problems when they arise.
Unfinished project from my earlier childhood
The state of the go-karts which my dad had made when I was 4 years old.
The go-karts my dad had made when I was 4 years old had hard plastic tires, wooden block brakes that had to be pulled by hand, a functional steering wheel, and no place for sitting or putting your legs. When I was 9, I encouraged my dad to finish them with me, but with a more ambitious final goal in mind.
Finishing the push go-kart model
First we decided to finish one of them as he had originally planned. This involved building a cover for the front of the car, an adjustable chair for the back, and a mechanical linkage to make the brake activate by pedal.
The state of the go-kart before finishing the original design plan vs. the finished push go-kart .
The brake pedal is mechanically linked to the wooden brake blocks that apply pressure on the rear wheels.
Adding an acceleration pedal
We added a large 12V battery and a motor that was attached to one of the rear wheels via a belt.