Purpose: Summer 2014 Introduction to Engineering Competition


Joint Institute

Joint Institute was founded by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and University of Michigan in 2006. It is located in the southwest of Shanghai, China. Joint Institute aims to cultivate engineering elites.


We group fourteen, AToPia, from Joint Institute. Our team includes five members, Chen Luyao, Chen Yizhou, Lin Keng, Wang Ziqiao and Yu Guangting. We are all freshmen majoring in engineering. Here, we are trying to show you our project one in the course of introduction to engineering --- hovercraft.

In this project, we had a time trial for each team's hovercraft and held a competition between teams.

Description of Time Trial and Competition

At first, the teaching assistants introduced the rules of the competition and the name and the team logo of each team. Then, every team computed their hovercraft to complete the racing track. In the competition, each team competed with another team and the first team to reach the finishing line won. The competitions were exciting and fierce. When a team’s hovercraft rotated without control or crashed the obstacle, all the audience encouraged the team and cheered them up. When a team’s hovercraft completed the race, everyone congratulated and cheered the team just like their own team won the game. Some teams finished two laps smoothly without crashing any obstacles in less than 30 seconds! After about 45 minutes, all the hovercrafts finished their tasks successfully and every team were satisfied with their performance.

Rules for Time Trial:

  • Check in 10 minutes before the game.
  • Participate according to team numbers.
  • Complete one lap in 3 minutes or
  • Complete two laps and the second lap timed in 3 minutes.

Rules for Competition:

  • Don’t touch the hovercraft during competition.
  • Complete two laps—inner and outer edges.
  • Can get help from TA after rushing out track.
  • Collisions on purpose may be punished.
  • Don't complain for unfairness.
  • Get grades for the next round if crashing.
  • Clean up the table after the competitions.

Time trials time for our team: 44'13"

Place of our team is the 15th of 19 teams

Competition regulations

  • The maximum voltage: 12V
  • The maximum weight: 800g
  • The maximum size of hovercraft: 30cm*30cm*30cm
  • The maximum lifting height: 2cm

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Concept Diagram

Here is the link of the video of our group's hovercraft:


Step 2: Material List

Item Price (¥)

1. Fans 2

2. Motor 6

3. Electronic governor 40

4. Bracket 3

5. Motor driver board 20

6. Arduino mega 62

7. Ducted fan 132

8. Battery 74+58

9. Bluetooth module 8

10. PS2 controller 49

Step 3: Circuit Diagram

This is our circuit diagram.

Step 4: Acrylic Board Cutting

The acrylic board is a very light and environmental-friendly material to stabilize the hovercraft’s body.

Before assemble the hovercraft, we should have the acrylic boards cut for our “round-body” hovercraft.

Above are the top view and side view for our acrylic board respectively.

Step 5: Assembly Process

  1. Make a base of the hovercraft.
  2. Fix the cluvert motor to the base.
  3. Prepare the propeller,the propeller motor as well as the support
  4. Assemble the propeller.
  5. Fix the propeller to the base of the hovercraft.
  6. Conect the circuit with Arduino Mega ad motor driver as well as the bluetooth adapter according to the circuit diagram.
  7. Input the energy by connecting electronic applicants with battery.
  8. Connect with the remote controller to realize remote control.

Step 6: Final System

Above are the side view and top view for the final system respectively.

Finally, hope you enjoy the process of fabricating our AToPia Hovercraft!



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