kleebtronics nerdyderby

Nerdy Derby

created by ITP for the 2012 World Maker Faire New York

Official Nerdy Derby Website


The Nerdy Derby is a no-rules miniature car building and racing competition inspired by the Cub Scouts' Pinewood Derby. It is a collaborative ITP project that spanned four months leading up to the 2012 World Maker Faire New York on September 29th and 30th.

On the day of the race, materials like foam and metal washers were supplied for kids to build their own cars. The work station had a test track so the kids could try their cars before racing them on the main track. A registration station was set up where the cars could be tagged with RFID tags and entered into a database with pictures and names. When it was time to race, the cars would be scanned and placed on the track. An arduino-powered timer automatically drops the start gate, and infrared sensors at the finish line determine the time of each car. At the end of the race, each car and its corresponding time is entered into the web database, so a real-time scoreboard can track the fastest cars.