Freshman Class Project - Autonomous Boat from Make Magazine

Hello there!

I am a high school engineering teacher and I decided to try out an autonomous boat project for my Intro to Engineering class that was inspired by the autonomous boat article in the latest issue of Make Magazine. I purchased all of the parts for basic autonomous boat they recommended in the article. I looked over the pseudocode but was wondering if there was a resource here that had more specific code that I could access. The students have just been introduced to coding, so my main goal is to have them load the code in and learn how it works rather than coding from scratch at this point. I’ll then have them make modifications to it so they can see how it changes the behavior of the components. Any resources are appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Can you provide a link to the article?

The ArduPilot code base is maintained on GitHub at this link. It is quite significant in size and complexity and probably well out of reach as an introductory example.

However, if the article recommends using ArduPilot for control, you don’t have to get into the guts of the firmware source code to use the platform as an introduction to coding and problem solving with microncontrollers and electronics.

As long as the autopilot hardware is suitably powerful, ArduPilot includes a Lua scripting engine that can be leveraged to automate things like servo actuation, navigation, or even aerobatics for an airborne platform. Writing those scripts might prove to be useful to your class after building the vehicle. Read the page I linked in this paragraph to evaluate hardware compatibility with the scripting feature.