I am an electronic engineering student who have built my own go-kart! Ask Me Anything!

Raphael Wong
Jul 10, 2017

I was an undergraduate student majoring in electronics engineering in Hong Kong and have participated in a summer research program in Harvard University.  In there, we built an electric go-kart starting from scratch using arduino, motor controller and heavy steel bars!  Ask me anything :)

The person in the picture is my teammate and the name of the go-kart is "batmobile"!One of my teammate trying to act cool on the even cooler "batmobile" go-kart

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How difficult is it to make an electric go-kart from scratch?

Jul 8, 12:59AM EDT0

The challenging part is to gather all the parts and make sure they work well together.  After that, with simple programming skills, everything is straight forward.

Jul 11, 12:54AM EDT0

What was your aim behind pursuing electronics engineering?

Jul 6, 12:32PM EDT0

To be honest, I don't really have a goal or objective when choosing electronic engineering as my major, but I am sure it really helps to keep me up to date with new electronic gadgets. 

Last edited @ Jul 7, 10:34AM EDT.
Jul 7, 2:36AM EDT18
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Were you always curious at a young age about electronic items?

Jul 6, 11:24AM EDT0

Not really, but I love playing with my dad's computer and any new gadgets he bought back.

Last edited @ Jul 7, 10:30AM EDT.
Jul 7, 2:35AM EDT33
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Did you ever pull apart stuff and try to fix it when you were in grade school?

Jul 6, 8:43AM EDT0

I did pull apart a few remote control cars and alarm clocks, but instead of fixing them, I broke them apart.

Last edited @ Jul 7, 10:28AM EDT.
Jul 7, 2:33AM EDT29

haha. it often happens in researching sphere

Jul 10, 10:42AM EDT0

Were you able to meet your project deadlines and complete it on time?

Jul 6, 4:05AM EDT0

Yes, but just barely on time due to too many errors.  However, all of these can be avoid if we are more careful :)

Last edited @ Jul 7, 10:27AM EDT.
Jul 7, 2:32AM EDT0

What tips do you have to make project building efficient?

Jul 5, 12:52PM EDT0

Think and research on any possible difficulties before working on the project.  

Jul 6, 3:24AM EDT0

Is go-kart building too challenging for school students and teenagers?

Jul 5, 6:19AM EDT0

I think the challenge is more about getting all the parts and components you need.  Sometimes, products from multiple suppliers are not compatible with each other. If the materials are already prepared, with little programming skills and a little help in building the chassis, everyone can build a go-kart.

Jul 5, 7:21AM EDT29
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How difficult was it to make the frame and attach the axel?

Jul 4, 10:18PM EDT0

It was not very diffcult actually, we simply cut the steel bars, smoothen the surface, drill some holes and put them together with screws.

Jul 5, 2:00AM EDT0

What material did you use to build the jig?

Jul 4, 5:43PM EDT0

Those are built by my teammates.  I believe they cut down the corners of a few steel rods and shape them into jigs.

Jul 5, 2:25AM EDT47
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Do you get adequate support from your lecturers and professors in college?

Jul 4, 2:34AM EDT0

Yes, during the program, we have to conduct technical presentations every week, and professors will provide feedbacks and suggestions for improvement.  We also have extra workshops on operating heavy machinary for building the chassis of our go-kart.

Last edited @ Jul 4, 8:14AM EDT.
Jul 4, 8:09AM EDT0

How much horse power motor did you use to achieve optimal speed?

Jul 3, 7:50PM EDT0

We used a 350 W motor, converting to hp, it will be 0.47.  

Last edited @ Jul 4, 8:15AM EDT.
Jul 4, 8:11AM EDT33
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What kind of online help is available for those interested in electronic projects?

Jul 3, 11:46AM EDT0

Online forums are definitely a good place to start.  Usually for programming stuff, I go for stackoverflow.  As for electronics components, I just type the part name on google.

Jul 4, 8:08AM EDT0

How many students were working on the go-kart project?

Jul 3, 11:06AM EDT0

5-6 students, usually 2 mechanical enginneering students, 1-2 computer science students and 2 electronic/electrical engineering students.

Last edited @ Jul 4, 8:17AM EDT.
Jul 4, 8:05AM EDT41
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What kind of speed did you on your go-kart?

Jul 3, 9:41AM EDT0

11 miles/hour

Jul 4, 8:05AM EDT36
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How different is university education in Hong Kong compared to the US?

Jul 3, 9:34AM EDT0

It depends on which university you are in.  My school tends to focus a lot on pratical skills, so some of my courses have lectures, tutorials and labs all together as a 4 credit course.

Jul 4, 8:06AM EDT0

Can a layman make electronic items merely by reading or studying about them?

Jul 3, 9:27AM EDT0

Yea, I think so.  All you need is some programming skills and the basic knowledge of reading a circuit diagram.

Last edited @ Jul 4, 8:18AM EDT.
Jul 4, 8:07AM EDT0

How was your experience learning new things through summer research program?

Jul 3, 1:51AM EDT0

It was a little bit challenging given to the limited amount of time, but the process is fun and packed with excitment.

Last edited @ Jul 11, 7:28AM EDT.
Jul 3, 4:05AM EDT0

How much time did you spend at Harvard University?

Jul 2, 9:58PM EDT0

approximately a month

Jul 3, 4:04AM EDT0

What radical changes do you anticipate happening in your industry over the next ten years?

Jul 2, 5:52PM EDT0

physical size of data storage will be much smaller and the accessing speed will be much higher.

Last edited @ Jul 3, 4:03AM EDT.
Jul 3, 4:03AM EDT61

What kind of changes do you see happening in the electronics industry over the past few years?

Jul 2, 10:42AM EDT0

Hmm... that's a difficult question.  I will say things are starting to look more luxurious rather than being more functional.  

Jul 2, 11:15AM EDT48

i agree)

Jul 10, 10:16AM EDT0