Hello! I am rebuilding an old APMBoat from a few years ago, and at the time was unable to find a way to get the boat to hold position. When it reached the final waypoint, it would just stop and float with the current/wind. The only thing I was able to do is have it change speed and repeat a pattern with the DO_JUMP command very slowly. 

But that wastes power - is there a way to get it to return to a location if it drifts a set distance away? 

I was thinking I would use a geofence, but it looks like that capability is not implemented iwth APMRover. 

Any workarounds, suggestions? 


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  • I did this years ago but I was not using APM or pixhawk.   The code simply increased the power

    as the distance from the boat to the target point increased...  Eventually it would stabilize and sit very still

    while facing the target point.   It was not good a staying at any exact location that you set.  But with very simple

    code it would stay put and not move much at all...    You can read about it here..

    2011 Weeks, E., C. Li, H. Roberts, R. Shaw, N. Walker, A Comparison of an Unmanned Survey Vessel to Manned Vessels for Nearshore Tidal Current and Transport Measurements. Marine Technology Society Journal, vol. 45(5):71-77.

    attached is my latest boat...  Pixhawk  can operate 24/7 at 3 knots3702300318?profile=original

  • David,

    They are planning to use GPS when it is at the surface and USBL when underwater. 



    David Boulanger said:

    I'll be interested how its done without GPS.


    David R. Boulanger

  • I'll be interested how its done without GPS.


    David R. Boulanger

  • David,

    Thanks for your reply.

    A 4 thrustered set up may work using the ArduSub code as it is based on ArduCopter which has the loiter function.

    Currently though the loiter isn't implemented in ArdSub but it is being worked on.



  • Gabriel,

    This simply does not exist now with the current code. 

    To the best of my knowledge.  You may be able to do a Do_Set_Repeat with a time delay.  I have not tried this however.


    David R. Boulanger

  • Darius,

    I've just come across this discussion. 

    Did the project progress? I am very interested in building a dynamically positioned platform using ArduRover.


    Darius Jack said:


    I am flexible.

    Electric thrusters preordered.

    Discuss today mounting points.

    One front thruster to move a boat to turn around to fix heading against wind direction/ water current vector superposition.

    Individual electric thrusters can be wired or autonomous, radio PWM  controlled.

    Plan to test 2 underground scooters mounted on the sides.

    Costs and spending should be limited, mounting and deploymont easy.

    Inflatable pontoon/ boat is planned for use to test control algorithms/modes.

    I would be very happy if only one another man on the globe is interested to develop this GPS Anchor, open-source open-hardware project.

  • follow-up

    (tried to edit my original message but EDIT button failed to work)

    Read this

    • 30+ years of toy boats and dinghy size boats.
      As for full size recreational vessels, I live on a lake.

      We aren't going to control a oil tanker or a three mast schooner with a pixhawk running free software.

      This is going to be used by private parties on boats less than a hundred kilos and in most cases less than ten kilos.

      With the size of the vessel and skill of the operator, the waves produced by high wind would quickly become problematic and prevent usage.
    • Skyhook Digital Anchor == Sorry Bruce, the original request has been posted by @AntimatterCrusader and Skyhook Digital Anchor == https://mercurymarine-gsdesign1.netdna-ssl.com/media/filer_public/e...

    • Deploying and retrieving a sea anchor on a remote vehicle is not the solution.


      David R. Boulanger

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