Wheelbarrows have been helping with gardening and farm duties for centuries, perhaps millennia, but it’s 2019 and James Bruton, Ivan Miranda, and Tom Stanton have decided to take things up a few notches with the barrow racing challenge. The rules here are pretty simple: the wheelbarrow must be commercially available, still use the single wheel, and run under RC control, so no passengers allowed.
Bruton employs a pair of powerful brushless DC motors to push the ’barrow along, using a partially 3D-printed belt system. Power is provided by a pair of LiPo batteries, and an Arduino Mega takes input from a cheap-o RC transmitter and turns it into differential (tank) steering via two off-road wheelchair motors. It’s tested at around 7:00 in the video, which seems pretty surreal given the lack of a human holding it.
The real fun comes when everyone shows up to the racetrack, where Miranda has come up with a leaf blower-powered craft and Stanton has attached drone props to his wheelbarow. Both use casters for support and to enable them to turn. While neither appear to work quite as well as Bruton’s, the race still looks like a lot of fun, especially as things devolve into a sort of wheelbarrow destruction derby on a rainy day and a very wet track!