Using Maestro to build RC rowing boat

Hello, I just joined. I now live in Brittany, France, after many years spent abroad, including 6 great years in Portland, OR. I have been building RC model boats for a long time, mostly scratch built wooden models of classics yachts. I am also a keen sculler. So I’d like to build an RC rowing model boat, controlled only by the oars. On the examples I found on UTube they used two paired servos controlled by the two joysticks, up forward down backwards, the oars can work independently and/or in opposite directions. A controller and microchip give the right movement to the paired servos. I have never used any type of robotic equipment, and I am totally clueless about programming. The programming interface of the maestro seems approachable. Can I somehow connect my RC receiver to a maestro, and have the RC transmitter control the rowing action that I created withing the Maestro? Here is an example of what I am looking for as an end result. A short list of what I’d need to buy would be nice, thanks. RC rowing boat

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The video of the rowboat is very cute, thanks!

The most difficult parts of the project (assuming you already have a suitable model rowboat) are to build the mechanism to control the oars, and for a beginning programmer, to effectively control the motion.

The video used four servos, working in a coordinated fashion. The lengths of the linkages to the servos will need to be carefully chosen to fit the boat/oar combination that you have, and may require some experiments to get it right.

After that, you need to learn how to control the servos to get basic motion.

Overall, this is a challenging project that will require considerable learning and experimentation. I would plan on a couple of months of work to get everything working to your satisfaction.

Another, more complicated RC rowboat (rower may have some arthritis):

I have never used any type of robotic equipment, and I am totally clueless about programming.

Start small and buy a microprocessor (Arduino is fine) and a servo. Be sure to power the servo separately, with a 4xAA battery pack, and don’t forget to connect the grounds. Work your way through the basic examples that come with Arduino to learn how to read a button, light an LED, make the servo sweep slowly, and learn the programming language. If you skip those steps, plan on endless frustration.

Hi Patrick, I got interested in a rowing boat myself and came upon your blog. It is a year later and I’m interested to know if you had success with your project.