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RC Car + Bottles = Mario?

By Shamus
on Monday May 5, 2008
Filed under:


I nominate this for the award of “World’s most impractical musical instrument”:

Comments (20)

  1. *sips tea*


    It is good that this has been recorded and saved on the internets. The world could always use more cover versions of videogame songs played on improbable and impractical improvised instruments.

    And, surprisingly enough, I’m not being facetious. That’s a labor of love, right there. Quirky, misunderstood, too-much-time-on-hands love, but love nonetheless.

    I wonder how long it took to make it?

    … And dear lordy, my default icon is hideous.

  2. Phlux says:

    When I first saw this I started drawing up plans for how to make a version of this that’s even cooler…one that doesn’t just rely on a straight line. Something with a zig-zag pattern, where you recross sections multiple times to produce music.

    I realized quickly that it could be done, but in order to do it in a timely manner I needed to write a script that would take my “line” of musical bottles and build me a looping course that re-used as many bottles as possible. I haven’t progressed since then.

    I’ve not got the programming chops to pull that off. I’m also pretty sure I don’t have the RC piloting skills to pull it off either…but I could probably find someone else to drive the car.

  3. GAZZA says:

    That is teh awesome.

  4. scragar says:

    I wonder how long that would take to set up in order to play something more complexe(as opposed to the mario music which really just repeats a few times at several different tempos). Either way that’s pretty cool, and I want to do it, wonder if my nephew will lend me an RC car for it.

  5. Galenor says:

    The guy controlling the car must have nerves of steel. One twitch of the hand, and the car goes head-long into a large group of perfectly aligned bottles.
    But that was awesome! Must have taken an age to set up.

  6. Deoxy says:

    OK, totally unrelated, but have you seen the latest Erfworld? If you haven’t been following it, it’s worth reading the whole thing just for today’s installment (actually, I think it was Friday’s installment) – so many cheat codes mentioned that I didn’t even recognize them all! And used in such a nifty way, no less.

  7. Terran says:

    Love the Security Guard at the end…

  8. Aaron says:

    I can now die a happy man. GAZZA said it best.

  9. william says:


  10. Torsten says:

    RC-cars, music and alcohol. Three things I like a lot.

    And now someone has introduced a way to combine them all.
    Brilliant. I need to try that sometimes myself.

  11. Nentuaby says:

    For some reason, it seemed to me like they missed a calling… That, clearly, it was the Chocobo Theme that needed to be reproduced in that outlandish fashion.

    I’m… Not entirely sure why. I do appreciate the music from FF, but I’m not a particular fan of the games…

  12. Dev Null says:

    Sallright Phlux – write a script to drive the car too…

  13. Jeff says:

    It might be easier to just use a toy train, if you really want to reuse bottles and have it pass hither and yon.

  14. Joshua says:

    I feel all fuzzy and warm inside now. Thanks.

  15. Stu says:

    Phlux: How about timed hoses adding liquid to the bottles so that when the car revisits them the notes have been altered to continue the tune? :-)

  16. Phlux says:

    Devnull: Actually an engineering/robotics student friend of mine told me that he would be willing to modify a robot he made for class to take the place of the RC car. I don’t know that a robot would work very well for something like this though. The longer the music track the more precisely you’d have to align your robot to avoid it eventually getting off track and crashing into the bottles.

    Unless of course your robot had some sort of visual guidance/obstacle avoidance mechanism, but his robot isn’t that advanced.

    I’ve actually started tinkering around with this again now. It’s just a figure 8 track, but I’m pretty sure I can do a 4 car round of “Row row row your boat.” I could do it in a circle with half as many bottles, but my goal is to learn about the logistics of cris-crossing tracks, and that song is only 27 notes long…so it scales well.

  17. Davesnot says:

    Jasper… I kinda like it.

  18. Michael Davis says:

    Along the same lines, here’s Mario used as a musical instrument:
    Part 1 and Part 2 (as well as others in the related videos)

  19. tjtheman5 says:

    I nominate this as the most awesome musical instrument ever.

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