Signal Fish Tutorial: Building a custom fish

Version 7

    Let’s build a flying robot fish! This lesson is part of a tutorial series that can be found here: Inside the Blue - Brain Coral Tutorial: Introduction

    There are 3 main sections that we will be covering in this tutorial:

    1. Constructing the balloon
    2. The rig that propels the balloon
    3. Base station running a server that controls the direction of the balloon

    Building a custom balloon


    If you would like to build your own flying fish, check out this tutorial:Inside the Blue: Tutorial Blimp Envelope

    Here is a interactive 3D rendering of the fish we built:


    You can also purchase a pre-built balloon here:


    The most important thing to know is the weight of the rig you will construct. Every single component will have an impact on the weight of the overall rig. While building our balloon, we’ve learned that even the coating on the wires we used added weight that would disrupt the balance. In order for the balloon to fly properly, there needs to be a perfect balance of weight vs lift. It is important to keep the main body of weight close to the center of buoyancy of the balloon.

    As a test when building your balloon, you can use a bottle filled with liquid, which weighs the exact amount as your rig does. This way, you can test the buoyancy of the balloon without damaging any rig components.

    To determine the buoyancy of the balloon, we created a calculator where you can input values to determine what you need to get your rig and balloon in the air. You can find it on our project page on github: Helium calculator (click "view raw" to download it).

    < Viewing your networkConstructing the rig >

    Part 1: XBee configuration
    Part 2: Rig construction
    Part 3: Circuit