Design team members: Fraser Cameron, Stacey Law

Supervisor: Prof. John J. McPhee


Every so often, the news tells of the death or serious injury ofan innocent person by the explosion of an unexposed landmine. Certain countries such as Cambodia, Chile, Afghanistan, and Chechnya contain still-active and undiscovered landmines that threaten the lives of nearby residents. An autonomous hovercraft will be constructed and used to uncover existing landmines and to bring emergency supplies to people trapped in a minefield.

Project description

In this project, the group will use a prototype design methodology to design and construct a hovercraft. After its construction, the vehicle will be integrated with an autonomous control algorithm (which is being investigated by another group in fulfillment of SD 461/462). When integrated, the hovercraft will be able to travel small distances over small obstacles and will be able to manoeuvre intelligently towards beacons.

Design methodology

The design methodology is mainly based on prototyping as well as the construction of conceptual proofs. Two types of prototypes, focussing on the hovercraft lift and thrust, are made and then integrated together, resulting in a physical hovercraft. The hovercraft is then combined with the control algorithm to form an autonomous vehicle.