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Picture of Arduino RC Amphibious Rover

Over the last couple of months we have been developing a remote controlled rover that can move both on land and on water. Although a vehicle with similar features uses different mechanisms for propulsion we tried to achieve all the means of propulsion by using wheels alone.

The vehicle consists of a floating platform with a pair of wheels that are integrated with a propeller. At the heart of the system is the versatile Arduino UNO which control the motors and various mechanisms.

Follow on to see the transformation between the terrestrial and the aquatic form of the Amphibious Rover!

If you liked the project do vote for us in the contests (on top right corner)

Step 1: Using Fusion 360 to Develop the Concept

Picture of Using Fusion 360 to Develop the Concept

We started by making a sketch of this project and we soon realized the complexity of building an amphibious rover. The key issue is that we are dealing with water and mechanisms that actuate, two aspects that are difficult to combine.

Therefore within a week using Autodesk's free 3D modelling software called Fusion 360 we developed our first designs to reinvent the wheel! The whole process of modelling was easy to learn with some help from Instructables' very own 3D Design Class. The following steps highlight key features of our project and give a better understanding of the inner workings of the rover.

retrret10 months ago

Thank you for the project. but I had a request for you: could you put your details designed for a 3D printer? I beg you. thanks in advance

Very nice. I would have designed the underside (the entire thing, in fact) with the shape of a boat hull in mind, to reduce drag. Nice idea with the rotating transition motors, but wouldn't it make more sense to have a separate drive train for water (e.g. water jets) that you could switch power to with a simple flick of a switch? (It is a 6 channel remote, after all.) That would reduce complexity somewhat and give more flexibility with design. Another great upgrade would be to add a manipulator arm on top. (Nothing fancy, just a lightweight 4 d.o.f. grabber.)

Last thought, I really liked the animations and your well-organised design plan. That alone would have got you a vote from me, but the idea and follow-through make it that much better. Best of luck, and I hope you continue to improve on this wonderful project.

Thank you for your suggestions and feedback
TheRafMan1 year ago
Interesting approach, maybe you should consider having the front wheels without spokes so that they could work as rudders for better steering.
Technovation (author)  TheRafMan10 months ago
Yes we had iniatialy tried that but it wasn't effective
crazypj1 year ago
Could the wheels have been made slightly wider and act like a 'ducted propeller?
Technovation (author)  crazypj1 year ago

That's actually a very good idea, will keep that in mind for the next prototype

Chihab1 year ago
That's awesome! What a great idea!
Technovation (author)  Chihab1 year ago
This just looks so awesome! Do you have a video of it?
Technovation (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago
Thanks a lot!
We tested it several times and it worked well! That said we had a faulty motor so we have ordered the new pair.
Unfortunately we don't have any footage of it, only photos. But when we replace the motors we will definitely upload the videos. Hope to do it soon
Nice looking rover. Very good documentation and presentation. Voted!
Technovation (author)  Filio Schiavina 1 year ago
Chikermane1 year ago

What a great idea and superb execution!

Technovation (author)  Chikermane1 year ago
Thank you!
MarkC2471 year ago
I would have put both propellers on the right side. It goes forward on land and to the left on water. Using speed of the propellers to control steering in water. Would simplify the mechanics and waterproofing.
Technovation (author)  MarkC2471 year ago
Very interesting idea but wouldn't there be too much drag?
Depends on how you design the underside of the bot. Put the bow on one side instead of the front and that reduces drag.

I'd consider designing the bot as a catamaran and design the wheel wells to direct the water into the wheels to improve thrust.

Design function over form. Make it pretty once it works.

Also, with a Catamaran design, tucking a pair of tracks inside the pontoons would reduce the complexity further, removing the need for the transformation sequence at all. It won't be quite as fast, but it's going to be more maneuverable.

Technovation (author)  nic.bryan.731 year ago
Tracks in the sense?
Tank track style. Only 2 motors total, no actuating anything, and a much simpler drivetrain. You only need 4 wheels.
Technovation (author)  nic.bryan.731 year ago
Do the tracks propel in water?
Yes they do. See: It's a stupid looking toy, but it uses tracks for both land and water.
Technovation (author)  nic.bryan.731 year ago
Oh really cool, thanks again for the suggestion
Technovation (author)  MarkC2471 year ago
Thanks for the suggestion, will definitely consider your ideas in out next model
Technovation (author)  Technovation1 year ago

And the aesthetics will be lost....

That was my immediate first thought too. You could also put propellers on all the wheels which would eliminate a lot of the drag issues since all wheels would help. However I'd be concerned as to transitioning from the water to the land - you drive up to the beach, but now your wheels are parallel to the beach - how do you then drive out of the water?

Technovation (author)  PeterNLewis1 year ago

yep thats one flaw i saw with MarkC247's idea, although its correctable...

As long as two wheels get traction you have drive and steering. You can turn into the beach and drive out.
Technovation (author)  MarkC2471 year ago
Yes and also there's a gradual transition from water to land, the shore, so sooner or later the wheels can definitely have traction, to make the transformation possible
dgompert1 year ago
Great project. Your pictures are top notch.
Technovation (author)  dgompert1 year ago
Thank you!
bulbulC681 year ago

WOW! absolutely amazing! Keep improving and keep learning!!

Technovation (author)  bulbulC681 year ago
BulbulC1 year ago
The project was amazing! Keep learning and keep up the good work!
Technovation (author)  BulbulC1 year ago
Thank you for the encouragement!

Amazed at the innovation! More power to you and your work.

Technovation (author)  monikahalan1 year ago
Thanks for the positive feedback!
MrSpark1 year ago

Fantastic, wish I had the equipment to build one.

Technovation (author)  MrSpark1 year ago
Thanks for the compliment, it might look intimidating but over-all its pretty feasible.
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