College is a time for learning, and two Georgia Tech students recently put their knowledge to the test and super charged a children’s toy jeep. Georgia Tech students Dustin Sloan and Trenton Charlson, majoring in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering respectively, have made a hobby of upgrading children’s toys with more powerful propulsion.
Their latest project is a super powered pink and purple Barbie Jeep Wrangler from Fisher-Price.
The Power Wheels Barbie Jeep Wrangler is designed for children ages three to seven, and retails for about three hundred dollars. The boys needed to modify the toy car with a full sized engine, hydraulic brakes, gas petal and steering mechanics. The Jeep Wrangler’s top speed is thirty miles per hour with its six horsepower engine.
“It’s very touchy on the gas, braking and steering, but gives a good deal of control,” said Sloan. “You can even drift in it and power slide.” The video they uploaded to YouTube showcases much of this, including all the tricks the toy vehicle can do.
Riding around campus in this nostalgic 90s vehicle turned a lot of heads, and when a video of the car was posted to YouTube is quickly garnered thousands of hits, much like other videos the boys have uploaded. Neither student was involved with mechanical engineering before coming to Georgia Tech, but quickly found their passion due to the innovative learning environment on campus.
Custom motorized transport is common at Georgia Tech, and both Sloan and Charlson joined the RoboJackets Battlebots team when they arrived at Georgia Tech. This Barbie Jeep was designed and rebuilt at the RoboJackets shop space, and the pair have several more ideas in the works.
Previously, Sloan and Charlson created tricycle with a chainsaw motor attached to it, which brought in nearly one million views online. Aside from the Barbie Jeep, they are already developing a pulsejet engine.
“We’ve got to figure out what we want to put it on,” said Sloan. “We have an idea.”