Introduction: Build a Robot Boat Using Water Bottles

Picture of Build a Robot Boat Using Water Bottles

This will show you how to build a robot boat from cheap and easy to use materials, I think it is also a good example of reusing water bottles.

I used two water bottles, polymorph plastic, two motors and propellers, tape, a box, a battery and a motoruino (Arduino clone designed to work with motors, servos and sensors).

Step 1: Materials Needed:

  • Two water bottles
  • Two simple dc motors
  • Two propellers
  • Isolating tape 
  • Box
  • Motoruino (or any other microcontroller and a h-bridge)
  • Battery

Step 2: Add the Motor and the Propeller to Each Bottle

Picture of Add the Motor and the Propeller to Each Bottle
  1. Take out the bottle cap and insert the motor on its mouth (you can use some insulating tape if you see that there is space between the motor and the plastic).
  2. Use polymorph to seal the bottle. If this is the first time you're using this material you may find these tutorials helpful:
  3. Attach the propeller

Step 3: Connect the Two Bottles

Picture of Connect the Two Bottles

I used a polymorph extruded tube to pass give structure and pass the motors' wires and insulating tape just to support the box.

Step 4: Make the Electrical Connections

Picture of Make the Electrical Connections

If you use a motoruino, you just have to connect the battery and motors' wires to the board. If you use a normal arduino you will have to use a shield or mount the h-bridge on a breadboard.

I used a SFR05 sonar, if you use it too, check this example: Ultrasonic Ranger

Step 5: Have Fun!

Picture of Have Fun!
  1. Put the battery and the arduino at the box and mount it on the robot. 
  2. Upload the code to the microcontroller. If you want to have a look at my code, download it, it is attached.
  3. Have fun!


548345 made it! (author)2016-12-13


548345 (author)2016-12-13

so cool :D:D:D:D:D::D:D:D:D:D:D::D:D:D:D:D:::D:D:D:D::D::D:D

narga (author)2016-09-06

czech language, use google translator :P

Madhan5897 (author)2016-02-21

how to attach steering options in the boat using rf module?

رفعتر (author)2016-02-06

thank u very nice so easy

abhilash bhoi (author)2015-10-23

how ll i stear it

AdityaG7 (author)2015-09-30

How do I maintain the orientation of the motor?

Wei ChienW (author)2015-04-22

For some reasons I couldn't open the MiniRobot.pde..

T0BY (author)Wei ChienW2015-06-26

Awesome idea. Very simple method for achieving something great!

Wei ChienW (author)2015-04-22

what is the program for it to work?

KeonK (author)2015-02-24

Does it actually work?

arup.baral.7 (author)2014-12-29

hai dud I cannot find how to use the MiniRobot.pde

arup.baral.7 (author)2014-12-29

hai dud I cannot find how to use the MiniRobot.pde

arup.baral.7 (author)2014-12-29

hai dud I cannot find how to use the MiniRobot.pde

arup.baral.7 (author)2014-12-29

hai dud I cannot find how to use the MiniRobot.pde

arup.baral.7 (author)2014-12-29

hai dud I cannot find how to use the MiniRobot.pde

karti (author)2014-06-04

hi, are you aware that the props need to be at an angle to run and not straight.

nice idea though

altaf hussain (author)2012-08-15

i cant get it .

can you plz tell me how you instal sonar on motoruino.

plz to increase the speed of the robot?

is it depend on microcontroller ?

XicoMBD (author)altaf hussain2012-08-16

It depends on your motors and on the voltage you give them.

altaf hussain (author)2012-08-15

where do you connect on the motoruino.

i mean to which pin

circuit plz.....

XicoMBD (author)altaf hussain2012-08-15

Pin 2

altaf hussain (author)2012-08-15

sensors are built in on motoriono. Or you attached seperately?.

XicoMBD (author)altaf hussain2012-08-15

I attached the sonar separately.

altaf hussain (author)2012-08-15

how it cost motoruini?.

XicoMBD (author)altaf hussain2012-08-15
altaf hussain (author)2012-08-15

how much it will cost?

ameyanaik (author)2011-07-09

awesome man !!
would love to see live video too..

XicoMBD (author)ameyanaik2011-07-10

I hope I can upload one this week :D

jweymarn (author)XicoMBD2012-06-27

Hi again! I would live to see this move! Video?

XicoMBD (author)jweymarn2012-06-28

The propellers I bought were too big, so I created a different boat. You can see the photos and videos here:

jweymarn (author)XicoMBD2012-06-28


jackjackattack (author)2011-07-13

how well does it work? does it go fast? if so how fast?

jweymarn (author)2011-07-11

Good idea! Video?

XicoMBD (author)jweymarn2011-07-11

I'm waiting for new propellers to arrive.
When I got them, I'll shoot one video immediately.

arduinoboy (author)2011-07-08

Hi Xico! BittyBot from LMR! Hope you win! ;P

XicoMBD (author)arduinoboy2011-07-09

Thanks BittyBot!

heavyfire88 (author)2011-07-05


About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, My name is Francisco Dias and I'm a student from Lisbon, Portugal. Have a look at my website:
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