A go-kart built on a shoestring budget.
While participating in the Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) during summer 2013, a friend and I hoped to build a go-kart in our spare time. We drummed up interest amongst fellow students and applied for a grant. We were awarded $400, and started in earnest. We quickly found the meager budget to be the most significant constraint on our design (the motor and clutch alone accounted for half the cost). This limitation forced us to make some unusual material and design choices. Our nights of work resulted in a wooden, two-seater, five-wheeled, aberrational kart. A 7HP lawnmower engine provided more-than-ample power to boost the kart to scary fast speeds. The steering column, brakes, throttle and brake controls, and stabilizer wheels came off of a $10 kids bike Craigslist buy. Steering used a tensioned cord wrapped around the steering column connected to spindles machined from pipe and bolts. While it may not have been beautiful, everything worked. PRISE-mobile has been one of my most gratifying projects, as I had the opportunity to lead a small team of non-engineers to complete a project that many in the program doubted would come together. I appreciate the team's passion and commitment, which made the project not only possible, but a joy.
© Ishan Chatterjee 2017