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Author Topic: Help on autonomous boat  (Read 1706 times)

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Offline amarquez87Topic starter

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Help on autonomous boat
« on: February 23, 2011, 01:37:45 AM »
hey guys,

okay so i'm new to this site and new to the robotics. For my senior design my team and I are to build and program a boat to be run by remote control and to be fully autonomous. A design has already been selected (a pontoon boat will be used) and a preliminary deck has been made. Our job is to work on the propulsion system of this boat. Anyone know of any good sources to check out? Our team is thinking about using 1 or 2 trolling motors.
Any help is welcomed, Thanks!

Offline Aberg098

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Re: Help on autonomous boat
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 09:36:59 AM »
How large of a pontoon are you talking about?

Depending on size of the boat, trolling motors are nice as they can give you decent speed and control. Some models can also control direction remotely. A lot of newer models can be remotely controlled by a fob, similar to those used to unlock cars. I suppose you could use this to your advantage.

One disadvantage is the battery power they require, typically full size deep cycle lead acid batteries, either 12V or 24V. These are heavy, and pricey :-(.

Offline amarquez87Topic starter

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Re: Help on autonomous boat
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 02:22:16 PM »
the pontoons are roughly 5 feet in length with an 8 in diameter and the width of the boat is around 3 ft.

Offline waltr

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Re: Help on autonomous boat
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 02:49:23 PM »
How much weight do you expect the boat to be able to carry?

Offline amarquez87Topic starter

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Re: Help on autonomous boat
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 02:51:52 PM »
initially we are looking at 100 lbs of weight

Offline Aberg098

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Re: Help on autonomous boat
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 04:56:17 PM »
For a 100lbs capacity: From memory a single lead-acid 12V battery can weigh 30lbs or more. Depending on the specific trolling motor, you can easily add another 15-20 lbs or more! I think a single trolling motor would probably be more than adequate to move your pontoon.

Typically in North America, trolling motors are rated by thrust provided, in pounds. The bigger the number, the more power you get, and the more battery you'll need. As I mentioned before, some models do have a motorised steering ability.

Most modern ones are meant to be used with a foot control, either wired or wireless. The controls are propeller speed up, propeller slow down, turn left and turn right. You could replace the control pedal switches with some sort of relay. This could allow you to automate the propulsion...

Offline amarquez87Topic starter

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Re: Help on autonomous boat
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 09:48:23 PM »
Thanks, I'll look into that

 


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