Hi All,

I'm going to adapt ArduRover with APM 2.5 to an electric boat for echosounder survey.

The boat is a surge crusher xxl with one brushless motor, an ESC, a separate BEC and a steering servo.

telemetry will be done by Xbee PRO

I hope that the control of the Ardurover could be easily adapted to a boat as the control method is basically the same. Probably the PID setup will be different.

What I need to know is how to connect the ecosounder to a spare UART port of the APM2.5 and how to add the depth data to the telemetry system. I have the code to parse the NMEA0183 string coming from the echo but I'm not expert in mavlink protocol. Could be ok if the depth data comes instead of some not used data like altitude or air speed.

Any help will be appreciated


Flavio from Italy

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Yes.. I am doing kind of the same thing... My boat is much larger and has its own computer for data collection...

I am using an ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) to collect the depth and current flow data.....

If I were you... I would get another radio modem and transmit the data back and log it on the computer...need another gps too..... I think there is an easy way to combine serial data like that..


Hi there

my boat is going to (also) transmit all gathered data to watch in a game-engine (like blender) and all the 3d stuff in (quasi) realtime

GPS data is provided (> 5HZ) by the GPSD on the linux-board via TCP. (GPSD can provide std. NMEA sentences including e.g. resp. of a depth-sensor.)


Hi Peter,

Very nice project !

We can share the results even if the project base are very different as u will use a linux pc :-)


good luck !



Hi All,

I did a big jump in my project, after hours of test I finally found that APM 2.5 has a spare serial on Uart2.

I took the APM rover FW in arduino IDE and after a bit of trouble on the upload part I find the right way to declare the new serial port and use it. For the moment is just an "hello world" sended and received on the port.

Now I have to create my custom library to handle the echosounder string in the best way. I'm not a good programmer so it will take some time....

Also the "mechanical part" is on the way, I have the hull with the motor and servo installed and the first "dry test" is ok in Manual Mode.

I would like to try a standard boat radio, the one with the wheel for the steering, is a 3 channel radio so I must modify again the FW to bypass the "learning" function and use only the Manual and Auto mode.

Another little problem is that my ESC did not work in reverse mode for the moment.... but for tests is OK.


here a quick photo of the boat just out of the box, unfortunatelly it comes damaged by the currier and it need an epoxy repair and a quick repaint on the hull tips....



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