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Georgia Tech students build speedy sofa using electric scooters parts

Georgia Tech Wreck Racing designed a drivable couch using Lime scooter parts.
Georgia Tech Wreck Racing designed a drivable couch using Lime scooter parts.

It started as a joke.

Each year, the Georgia Tech Wreck Racing team would bring their dirty, tan sofa to watch the Grassroots Motorsports Magazine $2000 Challenge. The annual event is for teams who race cars built on a tight budget .

Wreck Racing, an all-student team that builds cars specifically for the challenge, would get teased by the other drivers who said Tech should enter the couch in a race.

So they did.

“The couch is really the first big general population project people can enjoy [from the team],” said Thomas Barone, press secretary for the team.

The team began working on the project in April, shortly after Lime donated about 15 scooters to the team, Barone said.

Using the scooters’ electric motors, wheels, and braking switches, the team designed and built the drivable couch — which travels at about 25 mph to 30 mph, Barone said.

The team tested the device, powered by batteries found in child toy cars, on an autocross course and completed the track in three minutes. The couch-turned-car made debuted at Grassroots Motorsports Magazine $2000 Challenge, Barone said.

The couch wasn’t raced in the competition, but the team placed third in the competition with a modified version of their Chevy V8-swapped BMW E28.

Since building the speedy piece of furniture, Barone said the team hasn’t used it that much.

“We wanted to bring it around on campus, but don’t think [Georgia Tech police] would be too happy about that,” he said.