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How to build a small DIY open source boat with an Arduino and 2 bottles at home

All of us know that on earth, there is more water that land. Some of us are lucky or made the luck to stay nearby the water. It could be the sea, the ocean, a lake... It's not rare to see boats, sailors at the harbour and you as a maker dream to create your own boat but don't have the budget for that yet. Know that you can build your own small boat DIY with an arduino board and 2 plastic bottles and have fun at the same time.

To start the project, you need to gather the following hardware:

  • 2 bottles of water

  • 2 propellers

  • 2 DC motors

  • polymorph

  • Wires

  • Insulating tape

  • 1 battery 9V

  • 1 motoruino board ( Equivalent to an Arduino board and a H-Bridge ''to supply enough current to the motor)

  • 1 plastic box (kind of tupperware)

  • 1 sonar SFRO5

Remove the 2 caps and insert the motors into the bottles' hole. You can use polymorph or another insulating to seal the motor inside the bottle. Don't forget to make a hole in the bottle to pass the motors' wires through. Use polymorph to seal the holes and the wires and then connect the propellers to the DC motors.

You can use extuded polymorph to assemble the two bottle or what you got at home (plywood, plastic pipe, rigid cable, etc).

Once done, you can connect the electronics with the arduino board or the motorduino.

Take the 2 motors' cables and connect them to the following pins on the motorduino:

  • Motor A: Pin 10 and 11

  • Motor B: Pin 5 and 6

Connect the sonar to the motorduino:

  • Pin 2

Put everything in a insulated box, put the sonar at the front and add the battery. Depending of the detection of obstacle of not, the boat use it's right or left motor. When no obstacles is detected, it moves full speed straight forward.

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You can fin the code to program the boat and more details on the project with the following link: How to build a small boat with a arduino and 2 bottles

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