Getting the javelins, discuses, hammers and shots back to the throwing area at the Olympic Games used to be a manual task – but a car maker has come up with an inventive way of ferrying the objects back to where they were thrown from.
Mini has developed three remote controlled electric cars that will be used to return the implements for each of the throwing events to competitors at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The cars – known as ''mini Minis'' – are essentially 1:4 scale models of the Mini Cooper hatchback, but instead of being powered by a petrol or diesel combustion engine they use a pint-sized battery pack to power them. Mini says the batteries will last for 35 minutes of continuous use, and take about 80 minutes to completely recharge.
The mini Minis are 1.1 metres long, 0.5m wide and 0.4m high, and have been designed with a roof that can open up and enable the car to carry up to eight kilograms at time – the equivalent of a single shot, discuss or hammer, or two javelins. Mini estimates each of the three cars will see about six kilometres of usage per day, with nine days of field competition at both the Olympics and Paralympic Games.
Mini claims the system will help save time during the competition, and no doubt cause a few giggles from viewers at home as the tiny blue car speeds across the grass with a pair of javelins sticking out of the roof.
German brand BMW – the company behind Mini – is the official vehicle supplier of the 2012 London Olympics. Mini has already made a cameo, with a full-sized car, in the opening ceremony.
The company is certainly squeezing everything it can out of the partnership. Apart from the BMW support vehicles in the cycling, if you've seen any of the rowing events and were curious about the bicycles in the background, they are all BMWs too.
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