The pinewood derby is a racing event where kids with the help of parents build their own cars from wood, usually from kits containing a block of pine, plastic wheels and metal axles. The cars complete on a pinewood downhill track (a wood ramp) to see who finishes first.
This project’s idea is to use a RPi Zero+usb hub+webcam to capture when the cars reach the finish line, i.e. a photo finish system. The RPi Zero will also have a Bluetooth that will send the photo of the winner and the velocity of the cars to a paired phone App. The system will use OpenCV algorithms to detect which car went through the finish line first and second and calculate the speed of the cars based on their size and displacement on the video feed captured by the webcam. This is a great project for parents and kids learn a little bit more about computer vision and programming,