THOSE who have been following the track and field events of the Olympics might have noticed remote-controlled vehicles moving around the field – the BMW's Mini MINI.
The Mini MINI is a specially developed and designed radio controlled electric vehicle used in the field of play at the London Olympic Stadium. Its key role is to ferry javelins, discuses, hammers and shots back from the field to the throwing area.
Three of these vehicles have been deployed for this task, and are operated by Games Makers.
The Mini MINIs have the same form factor as their full-sized siblings, but are around a quarter scale (1100mm long). An adapted sunroof allows access to the inside of the vehicle for equipment storage.
The cars were designed and built to a specification agreed with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Each of the three Mini MINIs are covering around 6,000 metres per day in four-hour shifts across nine days of Olympic and nine days of Paralympic competition.
The Mini MINIs can carry loads up to 8kg, meaning a single hammer, discus or shot, or two javelins. It is a 10HP vehicle with a lightweight composite body shell (weighing a total of 25kg).
The vehicles are operated with a simple control system and powered by batteries that can sustain 35 minutes of continuous usage with a radio control range of approximately 100 metres and be fully re-charged in 80 minutes.