TranspOtter NG

TranspOtter? TranspOtter is an (autonomous) traffic concept that follows you and transports loads in everyday life.

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Transpotter is an open-source, Hoverboard based transportation system for euro-boxes (Eurokisten), beverage crates and of course humans. Its main body is build out of wood, backed by CNC-milled parts. As drive the hoverboard-motors are used, as well as its control system.

    We started with TranspOtter at the end of 2017, when we were looking for a way to transport our stuff. Because we already played with (defective) hoverboard parts at this time and Niklas wrote his own firmware the choice fell on hoverboard parts. These parts can be bought used/defective online, while the important part, the motor, is never broken. The Mainboards with onboard ESC and batteries can be bought fairly cheap from AliExpress.
    The basic idea back then was, to have a platform on which drinks and Euro crates can fit, which will follow you and works also in harsher environments and higher loads. The base is made from wood with two hoverboard motors and two rolls, for mounting the motors, the original hoverboard frame was used.
    To archive the following part, we used something what is called a "GameTrak", these are argumented reality controllers used for the PlayStation 2. In a GameTrak there are two mechanics with one string each, the length and the angle of the string to the GameTrak can be measured. By removing the mechanic and screwing it to the base.
Also see these Twitter posts and build logs for more details:

  • 1 × TranspOtterNG Base plate from Multiplex milled base plate
  • 2 × Motors standard 6" hoverboard motors
  • 2 × Motor mount milled from aluminium
  • 1 × Hoverboard mainboard
  • 1 × Battery standard hoverbaord battery or similar

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  • "Make it easier to build"

    Jana Marie11/07/2018 at 07:36 0 comments

    To make TranspOtterNG convenient to build, we've designed a custom PCB, which connects the mainboard to all its periphery.

    It will connect the mainboard to the Gametrak, Nunchuk, emergency-stop, a displays and leds.

  • Improvements

    Jana Marie11/07/2018 at 07:31 0 comments

    We don't want to just fix stuff but also want to improve TranspOtter and make it much more user friendly/usable. Our main improvements we want to archive are:

    • Safety/prevention of accidents by LiDAR
    • Manual control with a Nunchuk (additional to the Follow-Me mode)
    • More comfortable handling (When carrying / storing)
    • Make it easier to build

  • CAD

    Jana Marie11/07/2018 at 07:30 0 comments

    TranspOtterNG started with quite alot of CAD work, as the first TranspOtter was build from scratch and therefore had potential for improvement.

    The main problem of TranspOtter (1.0) was in the end, that the wooden frame broke. This was caused mainly by weak wood but also by the motor mount. To fix that, we want to use multiplex wood, which is in general much stronger and milled motor mounts instead of the hoverboard frames.

  • Log -1 Transpotter 1.0

    Jana Marie11/07/2018 at 07:30 0 comments

    This build log will describes how we've build TranspOtter (1.0).

    The base was made from cheap wooden boards, which where cut to size. We wanted TranspOtter to fit drinks and Euro crates, therefore our desired platform size is about ~380x580mm. To prevent the crates from slipping down, an edge was glued to the board. For protection a housing was prepared for the electronics.

    For the motor mount the old hoverboard frames where cut to size and screwed to the base.

    As motor driver the original hoverboard hardware was used with a custom firmware.

View all 4 project logs

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Michael Ratcliffe wrote 02/10/2019 at 20:33 point

Hi Jan/Niklas/Leo, 

Nice firmware, I recall watching a video where you mention getting hold of the original overboard firmware, do you still have this? 

It would be useful for my project to be able to flash back the original code. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jana Marie wrote 02/11/2019 at 08:04 point


The original firmware, which we have mentioned, is missing some features, so it doesn't work as a hoverboard.
I think it was this firmware:

Alternatively, you can test the btsimonh fork, which should restore the hoverboard functionality.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Michael Ratcliffe wrote 02/11/2019 at 14:29 point

Thank you Jan-Henrik for the reply and for the project documentation, great project and well documented. 

Still impressed that these relatively cheap/small hub motor can haul my fat ass around with ease. Your code meant that I can make my toolbox follow me around the farm, will need a bit of tweaking for my use but having the base code is a big time saver. 

All the best,


  Are you sure? yes | no

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