A man with a little too much time on his hands has recreated the famous PlayStation racing game Wipeout with a remote-controlled car, a wireless video camera and a whole lot of cardboard.
A few months ago, Malte Jehmlich had an idea. Wouldn't it be cool to build an arcade-style racing game with an RC car zipping around a real track? His friends certainly thought so, and thus inspired, he got to work.
His idea eventually turned into an obsession that kept him busy for two months, but the end result is, as he predicted, very cool indeed: A Wipeout-style game in which players sit inside a modified arcade cabinet and steer a small, battery-powered car through an elaborate cardboard track located in a different room.
"The car is a 1:28 model, you can get them in shops. The only modification is a plate to carry camera and lights," Jehmlich explained. "On the arcade side, there's a basic Arduino microcontroller. The remote is controlled by a different controller, both communicate via serial cable."
The car isn't much to look at but it zips along at a good clip. The track, on the other hand, is very impressive and looks awfully complicated, although Jehmlich claimed that it's actually "very stable and easy to assemble."
For the future, he said it would be great to add some kind of scoring system and perhaps a way to automatically right the car after crashes, eliminating the need to have people helping out around the track. He'd also like to work in some jumps, but noted that the camera would have to be really well-attached in order to make it practical.
"With the cost of wireless cameras dropping all the time, and Arduino readily available, I think this would be an easy experiment for other people to try," he said. "Or a project to do with your kids to help get them interested in electronics."