Skip to main content

Raspberry Pi Mario Kart Live: Play This IRL Mario Kart Track Online

Surrogate
(Image credit: Surrogate)

Surrogate TV is at it again with another awesome online multiplayer Raspberry Pi project. These are the same masterminds behind the toilet paper claw machine and Oktoberfest Pinball machine we covered earlier this year.

This time, they've built a Mario Kart Live track that you can play online against other players with the help of a few Raspberry Pis—15 to be exact.

In a press release from Surrogate.tv they list the hardware which powers the setup.
"The hardware setup for the playable experience includes 4 individual kits, one of each is used per one player in the game. The kit includes the following:"

  • Nintendo Switch - To run the game.
  • Nintendo Mario or Luigi RC Kart - To be driven on the race track.
  • Raspberry Pi 4 - To run SurroRTG and Surrogate’s custom image recognition.
  • HDMI Capture Card - To capture the video feed.
  • USB Sound Card - To capture the sound.
  • Adafruit M0 trinket - To emulate the Nintendo Switch controllers.

Image 1 of 3

Raspberry Pi 4 Mario Kart Live

(Image credit: Surrogate.tv)
Image 2 of 3

Raspberry Pi 4 Mario Kart Live

(Image credit: Surrogate.tv)
Image 3 of 3

Raspberry Pi 4 Mario Kart Live

(Image credit: Surrogate.tv)

According to Stan from Surrogate TV, the track took a couple of months to build. It includes loads of cool Mario Kart decor from a string of N64 controllers to a big Mario statue.

The game is designed to allow four players to race the online track at a time. Each cart uses both a Nintendo Switch and a Raspberry Pi 4. Users interact with the Switch online through the Raspberry Pi while an Adafruit Trinket module along with NSGadgetPi software is used to convert input from the Pi as USB controller input.

Image 1 of 2

Raspberry Pi 4 Mario Kart Live

(Image credit: Surrogate.tv)
Image 2 of 2

Raspberry Pi 4, Mario Kart Live

(Image credit: Surrogate.tv)

A $10 USB to HDMI capture card is used with each Pi to obtain real-time video feeds of the Mario Kart Live session. A USB audio capture device is also used to capture audio from the game.

Each cart can last between 60 and 90 minutes before it needs to be recharged. It takes three hours to recharge a single cart. With fifteen Switches and Pis the team can create a rotation of devices to ensure smooth 24-hour access to the track for four players.

This awesome Mario Kart game is now live on the Surrogate website and open to anyone who wants to queue up for a race. Visit the official Surrogate.tv website to explore this awesome track yourself and don't forget to bring a second player!

  • Endymio
    I seem to recall a few years back a company offering tourists to drive actual Mario Carts around the streets of Tokyo...
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Endymio said:
    I seem to recall a few years back a company offering tourists to drive actual Mario Carts around the streets of Tokyo...
    They lost a lawsuit by Nintendo and had to remove all Mario theming and pay them half a million dollars. Shortly thereafter, Coronavirus mitigations put Japan's international tourism on hold, and it was suggested that they might be going out of business, though they still appear to be active judging by their web site...

    https://kart.st/tokyobay.html
    Reply
  • Endymio
    cryoburner said:
    They lost a lawsuit by Nintendo and had to remove all Mario theming and pay them half a million dollars. Shortly thereafter, Coronavirus mitigations put Japan's international tourism on hold, and it was suggested that they might be going out of business, though they still appear to be active judging by their web site...

    https://kart.st/tokyobay.html
    Good info, thanks. Not that I question Nintendo's right to compel this, but it would seem to be more beneficial to them to consider it as a cross-promotional venture.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Endymio said:
    Good info, thanks. Not that I question Nintendo's right to compel this, but it would seem to be more beneficial to them to consider it as a cross-promotional venture.
    Keep in mind, these are relatively high-speed go-karts being driven by tourists on public roads within the highest-populated urban center in the world. So there would be a lot of liabilities for a company like Nintendo to endorse something like this. I know as of a couple years ago, there had already been a number of accidents involving them crashing into various things, including a store-front, a police box, a parked car, and a hit-and-run accident involving a bicyclist. I don't believe any resulted in serious injuries, but I'm sure that's not a risk Nintendo wants to take.
    Reply