Hello together, 

For a project at the University, I want to build up a rudder-control for a rowing boat.

It should support 3 modes: Manual (Just take my foot-angle and control the servo), Stabilize (resp. heading hold), and Auto (from one waypoint to the next). I don't need Pitch, Roll or throttle control - only the Yaw should be controlled.

A short description of the conventional steering: 

The rudder cable is attached to the toe of one of his shoes which can pivot about the ball of the foot, moving the cable left or right. The strokesman steers, since he can point the stern of the boat at some landmark at the start of the course. 


 And this work should be done by my ardupilot.

I have build up the whole system with a servo, buttons for mode selections and a sensor for the foot-angle. Signals are processed in an arduino uno and send to an APM 1.4. 

The whole thing works, i  can control the servo in manual mode and can change the modes (at least the Mission Planner tells me when I've connected the apm). But in stabilized or automatic mode, the servo does not react (in stabilized mode, the arduino uno still sends the middle position to the APM, like if the control stick from a RC control is centered - i thought i can implement the heading-hold-function in this way).

I tried the arduplane- and the ardurover-software. 

Can anyone tell me if it takes many adjustments in code or is it perhaps only a little thing I didn't see until now?

In my project, i just want to compare the apm-controlled boat with the conventional steering. So i don't want to spend lots of more weeks or months in coding my own Software... I need much time for the testing and analysing the data :(

Many thanks to any response and excuse my english ;)

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  • I have developed an autopilot for my race boat. Recently I gave it an acid test as I raced, with the AP steering 80% of the way, to Hawaii and back from San Francisco.  The design uses at Atmega processor, an E compass, and 3 axis gyro. It is very stable even in very harsh weather with maximum sail area aloft.

    A short video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8hO2vA-ukw&list=UU85HCAreLiiJvg...

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