Hovercraft for Vg100 Course in UM-JI


We are Team V for the Vg100 Course of the UM-JI, our Hovercraft attended the TT and tournament of the hovercraft race. However, no videos were made during the game. It is a real pity.

1)The Um-SJTU Joint Institute is located in Ming Hang campus of ShanghaiJiaotong University, SHanghai,China.

2)In the Vg100 course, every group builds a hovercraft for time trials and tournament.The racing route includes straight road and several curves. For time trials, groups can choose to run one or two rounds, only the time for final round will be recorded and the time limit is 3 minutes. For tournament, the two participants randomly decide their route by throwing a coin.

3) The hovercraft must float but can have contact with ground. The hovercraft is not allowed to take a shortcut when turning the curve. Two hovercrafts can have collision but intentionally crushing is forbidden.


Mechanism for reducing friction


Lifting height








Motor Voltage


Central control circuit

Arduino system


1(at least 1)

Lifting height


Budgets in RMB

EMAX 12g Servo


SkyWalker 20A ESC


Nylon Helix stand M3*2


T-shaped wire


plexi glass


EMAX2212 brushless motor


APC 4.7*4.7 propeller


Lion Li-po 3s 1200mAh


Colored wires


Flower Li-po 3s 1500mAh


10*10*200 light wood stack


Motor holder


Skywalker 40A ESC


64mm Ducted motor KV4500


Arduino UNO


PS2 handset


M3 Nylon nut




Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Step1 Cutting the Board

Before assembling the hovercraft, we should do some preparations. First, we use the laser cutter to cut three acrylic plates based on our CAD graphs to be the frame of the hovercraft. The three plates are supposed to be cut into a small ring A to lock the ducted fan used for lifting, a bigger ring B to be the main body to support other components and let wind blow down, and a small disk C to help evenly distribute the wind and keep balance.

Step 2: Step2 About Coding and Remote Control

Second, we write a program using Arduino IDE, and we expect the program to achieve the functions of remotely controlling the hovercraft to start, stop, and turn using PS2 hand set

Step 3: Step3 the Skirt

Third, we cut a piece of longrectangle cloth from a raincoat, with its length a bit larger than the outer perimeter of the B plate.

Step 4: Step4 Assembling

After these preparations,we can start to assemble our hovercraft. We first connect the A plate and the B plate with the ducted fan stuck in between by plugging the nylon columns in the holes on the plate and fix them with nylon nuts, and we connect the C plate to the B plate using similar methods. Then we fix the propulsion motor on the motor holder and the motor holder on the servo with screws and some glue. We need to fix the servo with the motor and the holder on the wood stick with a screw and tie them with insulating tape tightly. Next, we plug the wood stick in the hole of the B plate and glue it on the C plate. After that, we surround the skirt on the B plate and glue it to make sure the width of the skirt under the B plate is equal everywhere. The next step is to place the components on the B plate. We connect the wires according to the circuit diagram and fix the wires by insulating tape to the Arduino board. We again use insulating tape to fix the batteries, the signal receiver, and the wires on the B plate, and use screws to fix the Arduino board on the plate.

Step 5: Step5 Finally

Finally,we will test the running condition of the hovercraft. We can adjust the weight distribution to make it balanced enough, and adjust the program to make it easier for the controlling.

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