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Project 4: Electric side-by-side


The aim of this project is to create a compact side-by-side vehicle capable of accommodating two children and being controlled remotely using a controller.

Tanner Welch, Ethan Mancuso, Carson McKellar, Mauricio Sanchez, Harrison Lambert

Problem Statement

The challenge we’re facing involves two brothers, aged 3 and 6, who are currently sharing a small plastic ride-on vehicle. The younger sibling operates the vehicle because the older brother experiences motor skill difficulties. As they’re outgrowing the current vehicle and both love to ride, the parents have requested a solution.


Design Specifications

  1. Accessibility: Ensure easy entry and exit with wide openings and low entry points.
  2. Safety: Prioritize safety with features like seat belts, padded surfaces, and roll bars to protect the child during operation.
  3. On-board Sensory Controls: Design accessory controls such as large buttons or a joystick for easy operation of lights, music, horns, etc.
  4. Comfort: Provide supportive seating with adjustable features for comfort.
  5. Sound: Limit excessive noise.
  6. Size and Room to Grow: The car needs to accommodate two quickly growing boys. We need to develop a vehicle they can use for multiple years.
  7. Terrain: Needs to be able to drive on various surfaces such as pavement or grass
  8. Color: Red

Background Research

Things we will need to make a RC kids car:

  • Remote Control System: Transmitter and receiver for remote operation.
  • Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs): Control motor speed.
  • Wiring and Connectors: Ensure proper integration of components.
  • Batteries/Power Supply: Additional power source if required.
  • Mounting Hardware: Secure attachment of components to the go-kart chassis.
  • Servo Motors for:


Throttle Control Mechanism: For controlling the gas (acceleration) of the go-kart, we would need a throttle control mechanism. This could be a servo-controlled throttle linkage or an electronic throttle controller.

Brake Control Mechanism: Similarly, for controlling the brakes, we would need a brake control mechanism. This could involve installing a servo-controlled brake system or an electronic brake controller.

Steering Mechanism: To control steering remotely, we require a steering servo. This servo is mounted on the go-kart through the wheel or drive train


Schematic drawn after consulting with an ECE student at Tech:























Videos of previous projects similar to ours:



Concept Design 1

Small, Electric Ride-On With Makita Battery Upgrade

Almost all ride-on cars use SLA style batteries which use a gel form of acid for slower discharge and for safety. To use a makita battery, we need a Lithium Low Voltage Soft Start Module: $72

And then we have to include the drill battery: $60

To avoid the drill upgrade route entirely we could just use provided battery
upgrades. The upgrade paths would be anywhere from
$60 – $200. And the kids car itself would be anywhere from $200-$500.


  • Cheaper RC conversion kit
  • Similar speed to other car, both brothers can drive at a similar pace
  • Easier to modify
  • Less maintenance cost
  • Cheapest donor vehicle


  • Need to perform battery upgrade to Makita swap out system
  • Slower
  • Less Room to grow into

Concept Design 2

Larger Electric Side by Side


  • Faster and more off-road capable
  • More room to grow into
  • Metal frame allows stronger mounting points for accessories


  • Will need to install 3 point harness due to increased power
  • Heavier wheel turning requires stronger servos for RC conversion
  • Increased maintenance cost
  • Minimum cost is approximately 1800 dollars

Concept Design 3

Larger Gas Powered Side by Side


  • Much cheaper than electric
  • Faster and more off-road capable
  • More room to grow into
  • Metal frame allows stronger mounting points for accessories


  • Will need to install 3 point harness due to increased power
  • Heavier wheel turning requires stronger servos for RC conversion
  • Highest maintenance cost
  • Loud noise will need to be addressed with muffler or headphones

Selected Concept Design

Ultimately, we decided to go with concept design 1 for our final concept design. Concept designs 2 and 3 offer many features that offer speed and size but fails when considering our budget, overall safety, and the suitability for the family. Concept 1 allows us to focus our project and budget on a more suitable car for the family while staying on the safer side by choosing a vehicle more suited for kids. This car is relatively cheap and offers remote control capabilities which was requested. We will focus on modifying the battery of this power wheels in  order to ensure that it can be used for longer periods of time without dying quickly. We will add other features such as a tablet mount, buttons, and a custom seat which will all make the experience more enjoyable for the family and the kid.

Decision Matrix

Overview of Selected Design

This car along with our design meets all of the families request by prioritizing safety and leaving a budget to ensure this vehicle is adapted for the family. We decided that a sopbost 2024 kids ride on car would be a great car that we can modify to suit our kids needs. This car offers suspension, 2 and 4 wheel drive, lights, remote control, music, and can connect to devices as well. It has a lot of great features already that we can build upon and adapt to ensure it is a fun experience.

Describe Design Details

Donor Vehicle

We will be purchasing a 24 Volt ride on vehicle that already comes pre-built with a remote control. We will use the majority of our time upgrading the car for the child’s needs. These include more cushioned seat, lights for sensory, and a tablet holder for his communication device. Once the vehicle comes in, we will also be exploring the weak points of the cheaply made vehicle and perform some after-purchase upgrades where they are needed.



We will upgrade the seat to ensure that it is a comfortable and safe experience with a 4 point harness. We will either use memory foam and fabric, or use an alternate seat that can be more easily attached and modified such as a kayak seat. Regardless of choice ensuring the comfort with materials and then ensuring safety with a seatbelt harness will be prioritized.


The battery may be updated depending on the overall performance of the vehicle as it is. If performance is fine and charging is not a hassle, an extra battery would offer more ride time for the kid. If the battery does not perform well, we will use an upgrade kit and replace the current battery to ensure speed, runtime, and overall fun.

Tablet Mount

We will also have a tablet mount secured onto the vehicle in order to be able to use the speech tablet while riding around. This will be a high quality mount so that it does not move while riding around.

Other features

The car will include many other features such as LED lights, buttons, and fidgets so that the kid has many options to be entertained while being drove around.

Engineering Analysis 1

For this engineering analysis, we decided to look into the speech tablet that will be mounted on the plastic car to see what the specifications required are to hold a 2lb object. More specifically, since we don’t know the exact dimensions or weight of the car nor the tablet we decided to calculate the force that the clamp for the mount would have to sustain. The clamp offers two different length modifications so we calculated for both assuming that the tablet weighs 2 lbs (which is heavy for a tablet).

Engineering Analysis 3

We needed to create a basic schematic of our wiring system. This photo shows the overview of each electrical component connected together.

For each accessory, we will connect to the battery with a USB hub. The police lights require an additional adapter to convert from a cigarette port to a USB.

The USB hub allows us to add additional features if needed in the future. It also allows easy disconnection of the battery for charging.

CAD Drawings

Bill of Materials

Document Fabrication Process

Completed Design Photos


2024 Spring