Electric go-kart

Project  / Project number: 1029  /  Status:

Kart50 LR CR-57789d6d

The challenge

Scott had such fun riding in his electric car, but he had outgrown it and he missed scooting around under his own steam. Scott has cerebral palsy, which is a condition affecting his brain. The signals to his limbs and muscles don’t work properly which makes it difficult for him to control his body – especially his legs which effects the strength in them and means that he cannot use the pedals and controls in the conventional electric karts built for older kids.  Even in his old electric car, he had to use a combination of the steering wheel and parental remote control to drive it.

The solution

Scott’s Mum called Remap for help and Harrogate and Ripon Group Remap engineers, Brian Wood and Ian Midgley, came to the rescue, convinced they could get Scott back in the driving seat.

Central to the solution was a TGA Powerpack which is used to add power assistance to conventional wheelchairs.  A kind supporter in Ripon had recently donated a used one of these expensive units (missing its hand control) to the group in the hope we could make some use of it, and it’s low gearing, low top speed (fast walking pace) and motor braking made it ideal for the purpose.

A secondhand pedal go-kart was bought for just a few pounds off ebay and the transformation started………..

The kart as bought off ebay, which Scott is testing for size!

The kart in the early stages of transformation, which Brian is testing for size!

Progress continues.  Floors now added in place of pedals. The copper tubing holding the arm rest was cut and soldered on site to suit Scott’s arm position and finished with heat shrink sleeve.

TGA Powerpack is fully boxed in for safety, and Brian’s tubing modifications to lift the seat can be seen.

Final details added prior to delivery.

The control box for the TGA Powerpack. Full details are provided in the attached documentation.

Ian making the final adjustments to the hand throttle ready for Scott’s first test drive.

The end result, with modifications summarised as follows:

  1. The front number panel is actually a carrier for the TGA Powerpack battery
  2. There are floor sections made of moisture resistant MDF and covered in rubber matting, where the pedals used to be, so Scott’s feet stay safely in position
  3. The seat has been raised to accommodate (and fully enclose for safety reasons) the TGA Powerpack and revised chain drive
  4. A lap belt has been added to the seat
  5. On the left of the kart is a wheelchair arm rest and hand throttle (with a reversing switch)
  6. The throttle unit includes a radio receiver to allow mum to stop the kart remotely at the press of a button on a key fob transmitter, and also a speed range control so mum can set the top speed below 4mph if required

But they weren’t quite finished. A special safety request from Scott resulted in the provision of a horn, which gets frequent use, although whether entirely for safety reasons is not clear.

Usage notes:

Originally, the throttle lever had a spring return, so the kart was driven with one hand on the throttle and steered with the other.  Scott found that a little too difficult at times – so the spring was removed so he could set the throttle and steer with both hands, and pull the throttle back when he wanted to stop.  The kart is used in open spaces, and only under adult supervision.

Documentation:

Kart instructions

Kart controller description

The benefit

Scott’s mum commented, “I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Remap for making Scotty’s racing dream possible. He’s really made up and it’ll help him in so many ways beyond just having fun.”

Scott was too busy channeling his inner Lewis Hamilton to give a comment.

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