Introduction: DIY Hovercraft!


Team Members: Chen Jinlei, Gu Zuguang, Pan Yang, Tang Yihao, Xu Zhipeng



The hovercraft produces a strong downward wind to reduce the drag force. It travels fast on land and is remote-controlled.

Difficulty Level:

People over 10 with basic crafting skills can accomplish the hovercraft.

Time Requirement:

8 – 10 hours.

Step 1: Step 1: Preparing Tools and Materials

Tools and Materials Required:

Tools (Figure 1.1):

(1) 1 knife

(2) 1 pair of scissors

(3) 1 set of files

(4) Insulating tape

(5) 1 mark pen

(6) Screws, nails and gaskets

(7) Foam tape

(8) Sandpaper

Materials (Figure 1.2):

(1) 1 fireproof plastic foam Cost: ¥28

(2) 3 servos Cost: ¥13 * 3

(3) T plugs

(4) 1 PS2 controller Cost: ¥30

(5) 1 ducted fan with an electronic speed controller (ESC) Cost: ¥169

(6) 1 ducted fan with an electronic speed controller (ESC) and a metal holder Cost: ¥169

(7) Wood boards Cost: ¥18

(8) Arduino Board Mega 2560 Cost: ¥80

(9) 1 white plastic foam Cost: ¥0.37

(10) DuPont lines Cost: ¥2.8 +¥3.5

(11) Teflon Cost: ¥15.2

Step 2: Step 2: Build the Main Board

(1) Sketch the outline of the main board on the fireproof plastic foam (Figure 2.1).

(2) Cut the fireproof plastic foam along the lines with a knife (Figure 2.2).

Step 3: Step 3: Fix the Fan Into the Main Board

(1) Plug the ducted fan without a metal holder into the hole with wires at the bottom (Figure 3.1).

(2) Stick the red electric board to the bottom of the main board with foam tape (Figure 3.2).

(3) Dig a small hole near the fan with a file. Pull up the wires through the hole (Figure 3.3).

Step 4: Step 4: Fix the Ducted Fan at the Stern

(1) Set the stern into the metal holder of the ducted fan (Figure 4.1).

(2) Insert the nails into the board.

(3) Use foam tape to firm the metal holder to the stern (Figure 4.2).

(4) Stick the red electric board to the stern with foam tape.

Step 5: Step 5: Fix the Battery

(1) Draw the outline of the battery in front of the middle fan (Figure 5.1).

(2) Make a groove within the lines with a file (Figure 5.2).

(3) Put the battery into the groove (Figure 5.3).

Step 6: Step 6: Make the Brakes and the Turning Equipment

(1) Cut two pieces of wood chips (Figure 6.1).

(2) Fix each wood chip at one end onto a servo with four nails and gaskets, and we get two brakes (Figure 6.2).

(3) Cut a piece of wood chip (Figure 6.3).

(4) Fix the wood chip in the middle onto a servo with four nails and gaskets, and we get a turning equipment (Figure 6.4).

Step 7: Step 7: Fix the Brakes and the Turning Equipment

(1) Dig two grooves measuring 23.0mm*11.5mm*24.0mm on each side in the front of the main board (Figure 7.1).

(2) Plug the brakes into the grooves and fix the brakes with foam tape (Figure 7.2).

(3) Dig a groove measuring 23.0mm*11.5mm*24.0mm in the middle of the hemicycle forepart (Figure 7.3).

(4) Plug the turning equipment into the groove (Figure 7.4).

Step 8: Step 8: Build the Cushion

(1) Sketch the outline of the frame on the white plastic foam (Figure 8.1).

(2) Cut the frame off (Figure 8.2) and stick it to the bottom of the hovercraft.

(3) Sketch the same outline on the Teflon film (Figure 8.3).

(4) Stick the Teflon film to the bottom of the hover (Figure 8.4).

Step 9: Step 9: Program

(1) Download the Arduino IDE 1.05 on

(2) Download the library file PS2X_lib.h and PS2X_lib.cpp on github

(3) Build a PS2X_lib folder under the local arduino folder “libraries”. For example, if the route of arduino.exe is C:\Program Files\arduino\arduino-1.0.5-r2\arduino.exe, the route of PS2X_lib folder is C:\Program Files \arduino\arduino-1.0.5-r2\libraries. Put PS2X_lib.h and PS2X_lib.cpp into PS2X_lib folder.

(4) Add the PS2X_lib to your arduino libraries.

(5) Click Add Library… (Figure 9.1)

(6) Choose the route of the PS2X_lib folder which you built (Figure 9.2).

(7) Download the code from 9.3).

(8) Connect the Arduino chip with computer with the data cable.

(9) Choose the board and the serial port (Figure 9.4).

(10) Upload the code into Arduino chip (Figure 9.5).

Step 10: Step 10: Attach the Circuit

Attach the circuit in the picture below using DuPont Line (Figure 10.1).

Step 11: Step 11: Remote Control

(1) Use Sony PS2 Wireless GamePad.

(2) The Button of the GamePad (Figure 11.1).

Step 12: Step 12: Enjoy Your Own Hovercraft!

Now you can play with your own hovercraft!

We wish you have a good time!

We are HyperCube. Thank you for watching our manual!

If you like it, you can download our manual in PDF format by clicking the "Donload" button above!

Team Members: Chen Jinlei, Gu Zuguang, Pan Yang, Tang Yihao, Xu Zhipeng


seamster (author)2014-08-15

Nice project, thanks for sharing!

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