Tweets needed to power electric 1967 VW

Last updated 07:10 23/05/2013
Tweets to power 1967 electric Volkswagen.
Minidrive

FILL 'ER UP: This 1967 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia has been electrified and will run only social media fuel.

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An electrified 1967 Volkswagen that will only run when its mentioned in social media is to attempt a 1600 kilometre US road trip.

High school students in Kansas City and their Minddrive mentors have put an electric drive train in a Karmann Ghia and attached an Arduino to it and programmed it to let the car move forward only when there's a social media mention of the project.

Wired.com reports that Minddrive takes children "who have fallen through the cracks" and developed an after-school program that matches them with mentors and gets them excited about learning through hands-on automotive work. Each year, the students’ final project is a road trip in the car they built.

''We want them to say, when it's all over, 'I can't believe we did something like this','' Steve Rees, the program's director, said. ''It gives them the sense of being able to go back to school and do anything.''

Social media mentions to make the car move are being called ''social fuel,'' and Minddrive says the important lesson to the students is that if you care about what you are doing, make sure people know about it. Students will also learn how to use social media appropriately and in a work environment.

To move forward, the car will have to recognise either the hashtag #MINDDRIVE or mentions at @minddriveorg on Twitter, Facebook likes and shares, Instagram follows and shares, and YouTube video plays, follows and shares. Rees doesn’t think it will be a problem.

''Each of our major sponsors has ... millions of connections on Facebook and Twitter and so on,'' he said. ''We've got plans with them, so we have an expectation that we'll be able to glide right on through this. We don't want to be stuck at some charging stop along the way.''

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