Arduino Uno Airboat Controlled W/ Joystick and DC Motor

Introduction: Arduino Uno Airboat Controlled W/ Joystick and DC Motor

Hello, this is my first instructable so bear with me here.

This Instructable will teach you in making a simple, but effective airboat that is controlled with a joystick and a DC motor. This project can be done without much effort, but because of this it is also extremely basic. This project was not designed for high levels and is more of an entry level project.

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Different motors have different voltage and current requirements, the nine volt batteries included in the schematic will only supply the motors shown. If you bought an arduino kit and it came with a motor, chances are it will require higher voltage as it did for me.

Step 2: Materials

The primary material of the airboat will be a 19cm long by 12cm wide by 4cm tall piece of soft wood or foam.

You will also need the following:


  • A 19cm by 12cm piece of wood or plastic
  • One 9cm by 4cm piece of metal or hard wood
  • 6 screws
  • One portable OR non portable drill
  • Two 9 volt batteries
  • One Arduino Uno with DC power cord
  • Two crocodile clip wires or regular wires with the ends stripped
  • One small solder-less bread board
  • 5 male&female jumper wires, 9 male&male jumper wires
  • One DC motor with attachable fan
  • One 3904 transistor
  • One arduino joystick
  • Optional Ziplock bag, I did not use one
  • And finally, some tape, any kind is fine

Step 3: Constructing the Base

Constructing the base is a very simple process consisting of only 6 steps.

  1. The first step to making the base of the air boat is to cut out the basic shape of the foam or soft wood. The piece should be 19cm by 12 cm, if your material is foam, it can be easily cut through by any wire or knife. If your material is soft wood, then it might require a saw.
  2. The second step is cutting out the shape of the boat, start 1/3rd of the way up from the bottom of the foam/wood, and cut in a straight slant down to two centimeters down the length of the bottom of the boat. Then, cut two long triangular pieces out from the bottom left and right edges of the boat. At the end, your boat should look like a real boat, or you have done something wrong.
  3. The third step is cutting out the shape of the deck of the boat, it should be 3 millimeters longer on each side than the original base of the boat and made out of wood or plywood.
  4. Next, we will be making the dagger board of the boat, take a piece of metal, cut it 9 cm long by 4cm wide. Then, go 1cm down the metal and bend it 90 degrees. Then, take the opposite side, and cut it into a blade shape an sharpen it.
  5. Now, force the piece of metal through the foam until the bent part stops it.
  6. Finally, put the deck over it and screw it in at the corners and half way between the screws.

Step 4: The Schematic

Step 5: The Code

The following is the code for the arduino.

Step 6: Attaching the Electronic Parts.

The easiest way to do this is to put everything in a ziplock bag with only the motor and the joystick sticking out, but if you prefer the boat to look slightly more aesthetic, follow the following steps.

  1. First, attach the motor to the rear of the boat with some tape, make sure it is at the REAR of the boat.
  2. Next, attach the breadboard slightly in front of the motor.
  3. Then, attach the arduino slightly in front of the breadboard.
  4. Finally, wrap the wires around the joystick wires and any other wires.


  1. OPTIONAL, if you want to protect the electronics from water, cover them with a sheet of plastic and tape it to the sides.

Step 7: Credits For the code

Arduino Contest 2016

Participated in the
Arduino Contest 2016

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