Building an electric boat to learn about the basics

A project log for Tiny autonomous yacht

Tiny autonomous yacht

kwikiuskwikius 05/04/2022 at 10:360 Comments

Part one of the project. I decided to use ArduPilot Rover as the software ecosystem , at least initially, since it is very mature and has already got autonomous sailing functionality built in. Before starting on the sailing boat, I decided make an autonomous electric boat to master the basics. The electric boat was actually constructed from foam board and I didn't initially expect it to survive very long, but in fact it has survived for quite a while now. Pic attached. I called the boat Zippy. Here is a video of Zippy in action.

The hardware for Zippy consists of :

Zippy has been out sailing on the lake quite a few times now. I have been using the APM planner as the Ground station. It looks like APM Planner may be near obsolete, but I am using an old 32 bit netbook at the lake with the Desktop version of Raspberry Pi OS installed. I will have to try the alternative Mission Planner, but it requires Mono to run on Linux and is another hurdle. There are other GCS about too. I may also try QGroundcontrol.