A few days ago I got the idea to install a autopilot on my little fishing boat. The boat is 8 meters long. Because I dont have a lot of money as a university student I went looking on the internet and found this ardupilot. I have spent the last two days reading about the ardupilot and Harald Molle's blog with sea survey (a very cool invention btw). The autopilot I want is a pilot that can read my position from the GPS on my boat, then I want to press in a GOTO waypoint and then the ardupilot should use the signal from the GPS to correct a stepper-motor that is connected to my steeringWheel by a bicycle chain. Thats the most important feature I am looking for, but it would be nice too, if the ardupilot could use the $GPR00 or $GPRTE signal from the GPS to follow a route. The point is, that I want to use my GPS as the interface, so the only thing the ardupilot has to do is controlling the steppermotor by using the signals from the GPS. As I understand, such a route can only be preprogrammed. In other words I have to programm and uploade the waypoints to the ardupilot before leaving home, but I want to do it onthefly.
Is this project possible with ardupilot (arduino) or is it to complex?
Harald Molle's project works fine with his modified ardupilot 1.0, but he still is using the computer to make a path for the boat to follow and that I think is just not a great solution for a boat you are traveling on.
Hope to hear some inputs on this and thanks in advance for your help and time.
/Jacob Jensen (Denmark)
See atached drawing of the setup.