The boat emulator
The project I am working on is actually a boat (USV) but I am the "hired gun" for software and don't always have ready access to it. I can't say much about the project other than to say it does have some market potential and it is hard to test on public water without drawing a crowd. As you might guess, for some parts of the project, this is a real hardship. There are lots of parts of it where it really isn't - developing communication protocols between controllers using xBees, reading GPS and compass and performing calculations, etc. But for some operations, particularly the ones I have been posting about lately. I need to get some live data.
So I came up with the bright idea of using an airboat/hovercraft inspired design on wheels as a "boat emulator".
It's run by an Arduino MEGA 2560 with a proto board jammed full of goodies - xBee 900 Pro, GPS, tilt compensated compass and a data logger. The RJ-45 has nothing to do with ethernet; it was just a handy quick disconnect for the I2C LCD and some push buttons that are on the boat.
I talk to it with another Arduino (in the plastic case) that has similar toys but no motor and has a joystick and another unit that is just a beacon. I also have an xBee on the PC that talks to any unit and/or monitors all the traffic.
The first thing I will work on is spinning in and taking off in a required direction and figuring out when I can switch to GPS course instead of compass bearing.