Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Every year since 1920, a relay race takes place during Carnegie Mellon University’s annual Spring Carnival. But this race requires more than just a team in running shoes — contestants must have a buggy.
CMU students carefully design and build aerodynamic pushcarts, otherwise known as buggies, in preparation for the big race. Then, this Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., those students race their creations on a track about 0.8-miles-long, sprawling across Tech Street, Frew Street and Schenley Drive in Oakland.
The students break up into teams of five for the relay-race. Four of those teammates take turns pushing the buggy around the course — while the fifth sits inside the pushcart, steering it around the course.
The buggies themselves are compact. Sitting just an inch above the ground, they can reach speeds up to 40 mph, according to a press release from CMU.
That speediness is no accident — it’s the byproduct of generations of CMU students’ innovation and engineering. For comparison: In 1920, when the very first CMU buggy race took place, the winning time was just over four minutes. But over the years, students have widdled the record time down to two minutes and 2 seconds.
But this buggy race is just one component of CMU’s annual Spring Carnival, taking place this weekend from April 11 through April 13.
Other events include the spring carnival booths, themed-structures built by over 19 CMU student organizations. There’s also the “mobot,” or mobile robot, races hosted by the School of Computer Science on Friday from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information on Carnegie Mellon’s annual Spring Carnival, visit their website here.