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Category: autonomous boat

Valuable Lessons on Autonomous Boats

Valuable Lessons on Autonomous Boats

Testing is crucial.  These are my notes from things I learned on today’s autonomous boat tests. Do not program  GPS coordinates at 5am!  This is critical.  The boat went out to the middle of the lake and stopped.  It took me several moments to realize it did exactly what I asked it to do.  I failed to enter in return coordinates. The shoreline is dynamic.  Do not trust Google Maps, even in satellite view, when getting GPS values close to…

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Reading PWM Signals of an Aquacraft Wildcat RC Boat

Reading PWM Signals of an Aquacraft Wildcat RC Boat

These are my notes on connecting an Arduino to an Aquacraft Wildcat RC boat and reading the PWM signals for the Servo and ESC during the arming sequence. Reading the Servo PWM was as simple as connecting one wire from the receiver signal pin(usually white) for the Servo channel to a PWM input pin on the Arduino and using the same sketch I used to read a Traxxas radio. The only other wire needed was to create a common ground,…

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Open Water Remote Control Test

Open Water Remote Control Test

Selected a hobby grade remote control boat as a suitable platform in the next step for my quest to build an autonomous watercraft.  Picked up a AquaCraft Wildcat Brushless Catamaran and took it out to Lake Berryessa to test under remote control.  Got a feel for the speed, turn rate, and battery life.  The boat is much faster than I need it to be as an autonomous robot.  At its slowest speed, turning is still very responsive.  I estimate I’ll only…

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