I was able to pair up a family trip to Disney with a side trip to the Orlando Maker Faire. My parents who had previous plans to take the Amtrak Auto Train from DC to Florida were gracious enough to let me pack my power racing series go kart into the back of their van for the ride down to Orlando. This allowed me the good fortune to participate in the final and grand finale race of the PRS season. (Not that I had any chance of winning anything, I’m still towards the back of the pack. It’s hard to describe how much fun it is to race in these events though).
Black and Yellow Tubs!
The race organizers for this location decided to skip the traditional orange and yellow jersey barriers and tried out a track border consisting solely of water filled Stanley Tool tubs. The corners and turns of the track were plated with plywood shielding to deaden impacts.
This Stanley tool tub track border setup had pros and cons. The tubs sit lower to the ground and allow greater visibility of the entire track for the spectators and the drivers, but when you crash into the Stanley tool tubs they spill a lot of water onto the track making it a mess while racing. This phenomena also creates a negative cascading effect as the track got more slippery more track border impacts occurred. I was soaked after every race (but it was FUN!).
The only mod to my vehicle for this PRS race was the addition of a Harbor Freight oogah horn. I added a small momentary switch button to the steering wheel and mounted the horn to the exterior of the electronics enclosure. This is the first time I’ve raced with a horn and found it comes in handy when passing slower cars on the corners.
Robot Ruckus: Combat Robotics
Maker Faire Orlando was also hosting a combat robotics event called Robot Ruckus this weekend. This was my family’s first exposure to combat robotics and I think my son was hooked on this event after watching the larger robots battle it out in the big arena. I ordered a battle bots 101 book when I returned home for some future research.