Basic Autonomy with an Remote control Motorboat

[Vlad] wrote in to tell us about his most recent undertaking-an Remote control boat that autonomously navigates in between waypoints. [Vlad]’s build shows how you can make a simple waypoint-following vehicle without a background in autonomy and control systems, although building an autonomous vehicle seems like a really complicated project. His layout is encouraged by the Search autonomous automobile that we’ve included just before.
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[Vlad] started off prototyping by having an Arduino, a Gps system unit, plus a computerized compass. He published a quick draw which utilizes the compass and GPS measurements to control a servo that steers towards a waypoint. Before putting it in a boat, [Vlad] took his prototype outside and walked around to make sure that navigation and steering were working correctly. After a certain amount of fine-tuning, his controller steered correctly and advanced to another waypoint right after the Global positioning system position was inside of 5 yards from the target.

Next [Vlad] took to the water. His very first endeavor was a residence-developed airboat, which checked wonderful unfortunately did not operate well. Finally he ended up buying a $20 boat off of eBay and made a MOSFET-based motor controller to drive its dual thrusters. This design proved helpful a lot better and after a little bit of PID tuning, the boat was autonomously moving among waypoints in the water. Later on [Vlad] intends to use the abilities he figured out for this venture to make an autopilot for that 38-foot catamaran his dad is constructing (a remarkable venture on its own! ). Watch the video once the break for more details and to see the boat actually in operation.

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