Self balancing / Auto-pilot

Has anyone experimented with using a servo connected to the stabiliser and some sort of ultrasonic transducer (or other form of depth measurement) to keep the foil at a consistent depth?

I dont think anyone has, but this RC version is working pretty well!


Very cool! It would be interesting to know if they used ultrasonic transducers.

It would be especially interesting to understand how well ultrasonic transducers work on the water surface (smooth, choppy, wavy, etc). Does anyone know?

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This is super awesome. Do you know who built it? Are they on this forum?

It would be amazing to find out about the mechanics and the code for this!

The University of Florida built it.

Do you have any contact info for the U of F design team that built the craft? I would like to talk/meet them.

Here’s a new video from them, version 2 with retractable foil:
Don’t know why college kids wouldn’t want to sit on top and go for a ride? That should be the real goal of this project.


probably because it takes a lot less power to self balance a board with an exact weight . And The algorithms would all change

Yeah, I am sure the prof wouldn’t like it, but my first thought after seeing it work would be to hop on top. Of course that’s Gator water.:grinning:

Interestingly the new Starboard Foil called the Wave is wonderful for forgiving and being predictable. It allows wing breech and self settles rather safely vs ejecting the rider unexpectedly. You would be surprised. But yes the servo thing would help further.

I guess a basic pixhawk (60 usd)

along with Ardupilot (free software) set on flying wing could do the trick as it does for plain RC gliders, so just 2 servos ?

Pixhawk can be a great platform for this purpose. Firmware will need a new branch for foil with different control logic.

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Yep. I am not even convinced that it needs a new firmware.
Flying wings can perfectly stabilize with only two ailerons at the back. Should be the same here

Wonder if wand system would be more effective. Electro stabilising seems quite complicated, where as wands are pretty robust


See below for more details on this approach in an RC video

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