Dave the Remote Control Duck Is an Interesting Take on the RC Boat
As a an adult who grew up in the '80s, Jude Pullen was looking to build something for his son that could capture the whimsical and weird nature of the cartoons from that era.
And rather than going with a toy involving aggressive behavior or war, he wanted one that was far more tame, which is how he came up with the idea for a decoy duck that could move through the water on its own power.
The basis for this remote control duck, which Pullen refers to as "Dave", has a cheap RC boat as its base. By using a pre-made hull, issues such as leaks and hydrodynamics can be greatly improved compared to one that is entirely homemade. In addition to the boat and decoy duck body, he also gathered some cutting tools, sandpaper, a mini blowtorch, and a small saw to assist in assembling the toy.
The first order of business was getting the duck into a suitable state so that its core could be replaced with the RC boat. Pullen began by removing the ballast which sits underneath and provides buoyancy. Next, he traced around the boat's hull and cut out a slot into which the boat could fit. And finally, a pair of small slits were cut just above the propellers to ensure free movement.
Conveniently, all of the required electronics for the boat were mounted in the lower half, meaning the top could be removed without any issues. With the top portion now in the duck's hollow chamber, some heat was applied to its backside in order to reshape it and give a better fit. However, this process was not perfect, so some extra modifications were needed to prevent leaks entirely.
After Pullen had taken his first attempt out for a test run, he discovered some water was getting in, meaning that a more permanent solution was required to stop the leak issue. To accomplish this goal, he sanded the top edges of both halves so they could meet up to the duck's lower portion without any major gaps. He then applied a generous amount of Sugru around the edges to create a seal, and then tightened it all down. As a final touch, he also added a small loop in the top so that a rescue hook could be used to fish it out of a pond if needed.
As seen in his demonstration video, Pullen's son can be observed piloting the duck around, which made for an interesting sight to behold.
You can read more about how this remote control duck was created here on Instructables.