Designing a Robot Boat
Here is how I derived the calculation to determine how much your boat will sink under a given weight and hull dimensions:
· Density*volume = mass
· Density of water*boat volume under water = boat weight
· Avg density of the machine*volume of machine = machine weight
· Sinking depth = machine wt./(density of water*machine length*machine width)
You want the sinking depth of your boat to be as minimal as possible, but yet deep enough the actuators can go into the water. If you are making a robot sub, then you want the sinking depth to equal the height of the sub to obtain neutral buoyancy.
Mechanisms of motion:
Basic mechanisms that can be used for motion of a floating robot are:
· Paddled wheel
· Propelled machine using differential or steered turning
· Hovercraft mechanism
Paddled wheel design:
· Air filled plastic or wooden case
· Foam core
· Light wooden base
Mechanism for guiding the ball:
Now this is the place where your creativity will creep in. There can be several options, you need to think of the most efficient available.
· Guiding the ball using a guider.
· Clamping and throwing.
· Lifting and dropping.
The questions that you might need to answer here are:
· How will the mechanism overcome the water drag?
· How will it put in the maximum no. of balls in the given time?
· How can it be controlled in the simplest way?
And a few more…
Control and Electronics:
The competition being manual, The machine has to be controlled by a remote controlled which can be wired too. The motors driving the paddle propellers, etc. can be controlled using switches (dp-dt switches). Moreover the motor, if applicable, controlling the ball guiding mechanism in the machine will also require a similar control.