Making Things Interactive

March 25, 2008

Final Project Proposal

Filed under: Lingshui Wang — lingshui @ 7:14 pm

Concept: A hovercraft works by concentrating a pocket of air underneath it and trapping it with a “skirt” of some kind so that air pressure builds up underneath the hovercraft, which allows it to float over a ground surface. In this project I am proposing to create a miniature hovercraft using pc fans and lightweight casing material. Hopefully (if I am able to get the hovercraft to lift off…), I can then steer the hovercraft depending on outside influences.

Parts List:

  1. 4 (or 8 – additional fans for steering) pc cooling fans
  2. lightweight casing material
  3. 24 volt power supply (.5 amps?)
  4. Garbage bags (for the skirt)

Technical Concept: There are a few projects online which have done similar things, with varying results, it seems about 50/50 when people either get it to work or it doesn’t lift off the ground at all. Additionally, pc cooling fans usually run at 12V, boosting the voltage up to 24V should increase RPMs and therefore increase the rate of air movement (thus resulting in -hopefully- enough air pressure to create lift). If lift is achieved, then proximity sensors (ultrasonic, photovoltaic, infrared) could be used to steer hovecrafts around obstacles and preserve hovercraft stability and orientation on slanted surfaces by altering fan power. The arduino compiler should be able to fulfill all programming needs that I have for this project.

Documentation / References:

State Diagram


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