Instructables

Making an autonomous boat using a Raspberry Pi (WiP)

Featured
The wave of enthusiasm for the Raspberry Pi has driven many people to wonder at the possibilities, and marvel at it's simplicity. The credit card sized SBC is perfect for just about anything. Maybe even for crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

FishPi is a project with the goal of doing just that and crossing the Atlantic, using the Raspberry Pi to pilot the craft. The first step in this project is the Proof-Of-Concept Vehicle (POCV).

The POCV will test the basic principles of autonomous control with a Raspberry Pi, and I'm going to show you how to make your own.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
kane712701 month ago

I don't understand how you will transfer live feed with the limitations that RockBlock's 340 byte message limitation. Could you go into more details on this?

comsa42 made it!1 month ago

This project gave me some pointers about building my own autopilot boat prototype! I am still in the process of building mine but I had my first launch yesterday. It uses an arduino and a more makeshift boat, but I'm sure someday it will work. You can read more about it on my blog: http://denialmedia.ca/?cat=57

test.PNGIMG_1659.JPGIMG_20140528_143150.jpg
Glany21605 months ago

Now, all this needs is a quadcopter strapped on top for the perfect, fully autonomous river explorer!

In this tutorial I find what I need to start interfacing the gps sensor with a Pi board. And because I want to help many more hobbyists to start building robots, I share this tutorial on my post http://www.intorobotics.com/gps-sensors-tutorials-resources/. Thank you!

Samuel kos1 year ago
Sry I hadn't no diced the others comments on this nevermind
Samuel kos1 year ago
You shod probably install a solar panel to charge the batteried
ToolboxGuy1 year ago
Quite a feat to accomplish! Not sure how you intend to charge the batteries whilst travelling across the ocean.... 6D batteries can barely run a few flashlights overnight, and this boat will have to be running its motor for months, plus the on board camera and other electronics.
Excellent work!!!
R1671 year ago
Great project. I really want to know how to build the control box thing in the pictures. Also, i would get some rechargeable batteries. They might be expensive now, but in the long run, they will save a lot of money on batteries.
SilverJimny (author)  R1671 year ago
There's another instructable showing you how to make the Base-Station (the big case), here;

http://www.instructables.com/id/Creating-a-Base-Station-for-Use-With-An-Autonomous

P.S. the batteries are rechargeable!.
Will you please tell me when I can use the bathroom ??… ;D

Nice project …
Very interesting project.
Please keep us up to date with some new videos
SilverJimny (author)  matefernandes1 year ago
Video added!
MartijnD1 year ago
Why not also add a track&trace system, in case the battery runs out or the pi crashes, it will send data as soon as within cellular reach. Make it sink proof and add weight to the bottom so it will always levels after flipping over.
SilverJimny (author)  MartijnD1 year ago
Funny you say that, I've jsut installed a RockBLOCK Satellite Communicator onto the POCV. I'll have an update shortly covering the install!
dex drako1 year ago
this is should be very funny adventure good luck.

an interesting alternative to the gel packs to protect the computer from water would be to submerge the Raspberry Pi in mineral oil. as a bonus this would also help regulate the temperature of the Pi.
SilverJimny (author)  dex drako1 year ago
Mineral oil is all very good until you need to service something, then you have to spend time cleaning it up! Oh and you'll need to seal the oil in to stop that leaking out too :)
nerd74731 year ago
Cool larger screen
very impressive!
storeyc1 year ago
Reminds me of this film...

http://www.nfb.ca/film/paddle_to_the_sea/
Untold1 year ago
I have wanted to do this for such a long time! I was thinking about using a raspberry pi for the high level processing and an arduino to control simple hardware and any low level functions. Best of luck with it and thanks for writing it up!!
john kabbi1 year ago
how long these batteries will be able to provide power to the boat ? i expected to see a solar panel instead.
SilverJimny (author)  john kabbi1 year ago
I've had it on for about 5 hours before the batteries failed, but that was without driving the motor. I expect maybe an hour at half throttle.

There's no need for a solar panel on this boat, its only a small scale test bed. The next vehicle with have solar.
guds7771 year ago
Are you gonna put solar sell on this apparatus...
SilverJimny (author)  guds7771 year ago
No, this boat is just a basic test. The full size FishPi will have solar panels, and that will be the one which goes on the sea. this is just for lakes, I imagine it would sink if it were to go on the sea, too many waves.
i meant that, on the finished product, thanks...
Nabil1 year ago
I really hope the little boat makes it thought the ocean! I suggest to put a note on it on several languages so if something goes wrong and gets lost somewhere, the lucky person who finds it in their mysterious coast writes u email telling you where it arrived!
agis681 year ago
wow i have to admitte how brave you are to use a Pi on a water vessel....lol.....good construction.....waiting anxiously to see the next episode!!!!


ps.....when u turn fast the rotor the cover hits the propelle....turn it smoothly
samern1 year ago
This is very facinating and is just what I have been looking for, for my autonomous robot project using the Rasberry Pi. I have one model B board and several model A boards and they work great running XBMC but I always wanted them for robot or autonomous vehicle brains. I will be watching your progress very closely. Thank you for undertaking this superb project!