Watch an autonomous race car navigate a course

Autonomous racing company Roborace demonstrated their latest technology for the crowd at the 2018 Festival of Speed. Read the rest

Barbie ride-on toy car modded with real engine goes 70 mph

Edwin Olding hacked together a Barbie Power Wheels Ford Mustang chassis with an old go-kart frame and a customized Honda dirt bike engine. This hot pink whip now races at 70 mph. From The Drive:

Olding told The Drive, "I wanted to find the cutest Barbie Power Wheels car online and turn it into a drift kart."

With the miniature Mustang's tiny electric motor and plastic tires, that would not be an easy task. Instead of trying to boost the Power Wheels' weak performance, Olding decided to chop out everything that wasn't the car's outer shell and drop that onto a pre-built go-kart found on Craigslist. That, however, presented its own problems. The kart's frame couldn't fit into the Mustang's 36-inch wheelbase, so it had to be cut down and welded back together.

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Fantastic new promo video for this season's Power Racing Series

One of the great joys of being involved with Make:, Maker Faire, and the maker movement over the years has been watching the creation, growth, and evolution of the Power Racing Series. For those who don't know, the Power Racing Series was started by Jim Burke (who was, for a time Make:'s lead designer) when he was at the Chicago hackerspace, Pumping Station: One. The first race was in 2009 and was all PS: One members. The second race, at the 2010 Detroit Maker Faire, was the start of the PRS and Maker Faire's partnership which continues today. Now, the US-spanning PRS circuit includes races at Maker Faires across the country.

Basically, the Power Racing Series is teams of adult kiddie car hackers modifying Power Wheels (and other powered kid vehicles) and racing them in a LeMons-style race. The hacker teams can only spend up to $500 to modify and upgrade their car. It's all in good fun and basically an excuse to collaborate with other makers to try and push your tiny ride to the limit. And to have a crackin' good time in the process. Prizes are given out for things like the most Moxie Points, your ability to take risks, swerve into your weirdness, and pander to the crowd.

There are 9 races taking place this season, starting at Maker Faire Bay Area this month (May 18-20) and ending at the Maker Faire Orlando in November (Nov 10-11). Check out this wonderful video that Jim Burke posted to his YouTube channel a few days ago to promote Season 9. Read the rest

This 1936 film celebrates maker culture (boys only, please)

The 1936 All-American Soap Box Derby is a fascinating look at the ethos and mores from the height of the soap box derby craze. While it's cool to see maker culture valued and celebrated, it's certainly not very inclusive. Read the rest

Gentleman takes issue with fellow car racer's parking skills

At Anderson Speedway in Indiana, driver Jeffrey Swinford was not pleased with Shawn Cullen for crashing into him and taking both of them out of a race. Then Cullen was not pleased with Swinford parking his car on top of Cullen's. Read the rest

Video stabilization artifacts turn this car's windshield into jelly

Rolling shutters and algorithmic stabilization created an interesting effect on this racing footage. Read the rest

Accurate map of world's most famous racetracks and motorsport courses

If you've ever played a car racing video game, some of these shapes may be familiar, but Matt Dunlop built on the work of several others to create this fascinating map of the world's famous motorsport courses. Read the rest

Did a pro cyclist hide a motor inside her bike?

There's no question that Belgian cyclist Femke van den Driessche had a motor hidden in a bike she rode in the UCI Cyclocross World Championships over the weekend, because race officials discovered it in the hollow part of the bike frame. But van den Driessche swears she didn't know the motor was there. Here's her alibi, as reported by Velo News:

The 19-year-old denied that she had used a bike with a concealed motor on purpose, saying that it was identical to her own but belonged to a friend and that a team mechanic had given it to her by mistake before the race.

"It wasn't my bike, it was that of a friend and was identical to mine," a tearful Van den Driessche told Belgian TV channel Sporza. "This friend went around the course Saturday before dropping off the bike in the truck. A mechanic, thinking it was my bike, cleaned it and prepared it for my race," she added, insisting that she was "totally unaware" it was fitted with a hidden motor.

Vivax Assist on-bike demo from cyclingtips on Vimeo.

The motor and battery weigh 1.8 kilograms, which you would think van den Driessche would notice.

This reminds me of a case many years ago when my friend's cousin in Boulder, Colorado was caught cheating in the Soap Box Derby. His car had an electromagnet inside it that gave it a boost when the gate dropped. Another friend of mine, Colin Berry, wrote about the incident for MAKE, which took place in the 1970s. Read the rest

Watch this incredible car crash (after which the driver walks away)

On certain days each week, the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track in Germany is open to the public to drive any road-legal vehicle at insane speeds around the challenging course. The amazing part of this particular video is that the driver of the Renault Mégane, a "family car," walks away from the insanely spectacular crash.

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WATCH: FPV drone racing feels like flying the forests of Endor

First-person view (FPV) drone enthusiasts are starting to organize into racing leagues. Olivier Yogandjian shared this dizzying footage of a forest FPV drone race that feels like a cross between a speeder bike and a pod racer zipping across Endor, right up to the crash. Read the rest

NASCAR prayer (video)

[Video Link]

A pre-race prayer at the NASCAR Nationwide series race in Nashville Tennessee, on July 23, 2011.

"We want to thank you, Lord, for these mighty machines.... Lord I want to thank you for my smokin' hot wife.... Boogity Boogity Boogity. Amen."

(via Tabitha Hale on Google+) Read the rest