Introduction: Mini Hovercraft W/ Arduino Nano

Hello everybody! Today I'm going to show you how to make an awesome mini hovercraft using an Arduino Naon and a Velleman Motor board. Let's get right into it!

Step 1: Parts

You'll need all of this for the hovercraft.

  1. Arduino Nano (1)
  2. Velleman IO Motor Board (1)
  3. Coreless Drone Motor (2)
  4. Drone Props f/ motors (2)
  5. 3.7 150mah Lipo battery (2)
  6. Jumper (Lots)(male/male & female/female)
  7. 3D-printer w/ PLA filament
  8. Cardboard
  9. Ziplock Bag
  10. Tape
  11. Male Header Pins
  12. Scissors

Step 2: Printing the Mount

These files was designed by Thingiverse user SpringsX.


Upload these files into your SD card or upload them to your printer. Keep that print time in mind when scaling the files up or down. Load the new g code files into your 3D printer (I use a PRUSA is MK2, so I just put the files onto a SD card, but if you have a wireless printer, just upload the files wirelessly). Start the print and you are done.


First, Choose the printing service you want to use. I recommend that you use 3D hubs, since their file sharing system is very easy to use. Upload the files and chose the hub you want to use. The hubs also give you the option of filament you want to use. Most filaments would be fine for this project, just use common sense when choosing. For example, printing this crossbow in a super flexible filament would not be that great of an idea, since the functionality of a crossbow is based on having a tense frame. The site will guide you through payment and the hub will give you an estimated delivery date as well

After you print the parts, you will need to use a sanding bit to enlarge the holes where the motor "key mount' goes. To clarify, those holes are in the back of the hovercraft piece.

Step 3: The Electronics

  1. Take out your Arduino Nano and the Motor Board. Insert female-female jumpers in to the GND, 3v3, D12 pins and attach the other ends to the corresponding leads of the motor driver.
  2. Take out 4 male-male jumpers. Insert those jumpers in to the wire buses on the motor driver.
  3. Locate the Vin and one of the GND on the Arduino. Connect your first battery to those ports, GND to GND and positive to Vin.
  4. Locate the Vin and GND wires in the wire bus of the motor driver. Connect those leads to your second battery, and to and and positive to Vin.
  5. Take out you coreless motors. Strip the wire back a little bit before going on to the next step.
  6. Find the end leads of the Vout and GND wires form the output bus of the driver. Now, take the positive wires of the motors and wrap them tightly around the negative lead of the motor driver. Do the same with the negative leads of the motors to the positive one of the driver.

That sums it up for circuitry, on to the code!

Step 4: Code

The code for this project is pretty basic. It gives you the ability to control it through the serial monitor feature. All you have to do is enter 0 or a number above 135 and up to 255 to turn the vehicle off or on.You can read the code notes if you'd like. On to the cushion!

Step 5: Mounting the Hovercraft/ Making the Cushion

This step is focused on making the frame of the hovercraft.

  1. First, cut out a square of cardboard.
  2. Place the 3D-printed mount in the center of the square.
  3. Cut the cardboard to to add about 1/2-3/4 inches of space around the craft.
  4. Tape the cardboard securely to the 3D-printed mount.
  5. Now tale out a ziplock bag and cut out a large rectangle in the bottom and a hole the size of the hovercraft on the top.
  6. Tape the top of the bag around the craft. That should do it for the frame. On to mounting the circuitry!

Step 6: Securing the Electronics

Normally, it is fairly simple to mount electronics, since it usually doesn't really matter where you place them. However, it will matter for this project considering everything needs top be balanced for the best possible performance. Remember to insert the motors in their mounts on the craft before you tape all of the electronics. This helps you to get an idea of where to place the boards. I used tape to hold everything in place, but if you have a better substitute go ahead and use it. First off, mount the Arduino Nano and the motor board and opposite sides of the craft. You should also mount your batteries down the center, one at the front and one in the back. This arrangement balances the craft pretty well, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Step 7: That's All Folks

That's it for this project. If you have any mod ideas, leave a comment. Thanks for reading, and, as always, Happy Making!

Plastics Contest

Participated in the
Plastics Contest

Make It Fly! Contest 2017

Participated in the
Make It Fly! Contest 2017