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Self Driving Fishing Kayak Project Help


(Philip Krug) #1

Hello,

I need some help getting pointed in the right direction.

As some of you know I have been working on several projects to adapt the BlueRobotics T200 thrusters to my fishing kayak. The bottom line is that they work great.

I have two configurations, a “skid-steer” setup using fixed T200 thrusters on either side of my kayak and a movable thruster(s) mounted to the transom of my kayak. The skid-steer system is operated by either a joystick setup or two linear potentiometers. In either case, the system is “manual” and any course heading and speed is done manually. The transom mounted system is steered by a simple servo motor setup and I am using rotary potentiometers to adjust direction and speed, again this is done manually.

I want to take these systems to the next level and basically make them “self-driving”. I want to be able to lay in a course and speed and have my kayak follow it. I have been looking at autopilot systems such as the what the Pixhawk project systems offer and I am guessing these might work if not a bit of overkill. What would be different with my system different is that I would always be a “passenger” and in very close proximity to the control systems. I have also thought of using a single board computer system such as a Raspberry Pi 3B to do this but at the end of the day, I typically have found that building something from the ground up is not trivial and can cost as much if not more the buying “off the self”.

I am concentrating on one very small body of water for this project, about 20 acres in size, and have lots of sonar data from my fish finder, so I have a very good idea of what the bottom looks like and where I want my kayak to go.

Also, it is important to state that I will NOT be moving very fast. Most times only about 1 mph. Wind will be my biggest variable and the system will need to keep my course and speed fixed no matter of wind direction and speed.

I will need to switch between the self-driving mode and manual mode which should be no big deal AND when all else fails, I always have my paddle :wink:

There are several trolling motor systems on the market that do this exact thing in conjunction with fish finder/charters BUT they are very expensive and weigh a ton.

As I said, I am hoping someone on the forum can point me in the right direction, either here on the BlueRobotics forum or somewhere else.

Thanks in advance,
Phil