Motion tracking prop from Alien movie

[Erv Plecter] likes to recreate movie props that actually work. This time around he’s making the motion detector device from the original Alien movie. You’ll immediately remember this prop after seeing and hearing it in the video after the break. For our money, the most brilliant part of that movie was the use of rhythmic sounds to boost the intensity of the tension in the viewer. [Erv's] build captures that feeling, with the steady beat of sonar and the rising pitch of a ping as an object moves towards you. The device can easily track your own movement, as it contains both a GPS module and an electronic compass. He mentions that there is a motion sensor as well, but is a bit vague about how that part of the build works. Still, it’s a nice little piece which looks great despite not being quite finished yet.


  1. Doktor Jeep says:

    Game over man, game over!!!!


  2. Sam says:

    That was from Aliens, not “the original Alien movie”.

  3. David says:

    This is sooooo cool!!! He nailed the sound effect. There are so many items from the Aliens movie that I wish existed in real life. This is one of them. The other is the locator watch segourney weaver gave newt the little girl. The motion sensing gun turret would also be a nice to have for Christmas. :P

  4. XiuiX says:

    Well Done Sir!

  5. revlchurch says:

    my only suggestion is when the alien gets to zero location… a blood splatter screen pops up. LOL

  6. Ch says:

    Nup, no motion sensor, it looks just to be the GPS to track virtual blips.

    This one on the other hand has an IR sensor that will detect about 5-8m in front… It shouldnt be too hard to make a mixed sensor module that uses IR/laser that could at least detect objects. Then use GPS/Radio for range (In a different mode)

  7. JA says:

    I’m so liking this!
    Big Alien movies fan here. I always name my main computer (running GNU/Linux) as Newt.

    The locator and turret would be nice. The Aliens had so many gadgets in it that there are so much to choose from. Vehicles, too. I would like to have the M577 A.P.C. (Armored Personnel Carrier) =)

  8. colecoman1982 says:

    “There are so many items from the Aliens movie that I wish existed in real life.”

    I just want one, but it’s the Nostromo.

  9. moo says:

    they mostly come out at night… mostly

  10. JB says:

    Short, controlled bursts! Nice project!

  11. nick says:

    Very swank, compared to some of the prop versions I’ve seen of this. Would be more appropriate to the look n’ feel of the computers / menus in the films if it had a more simplistic, monochrome / text menu system though.

  12. blue carbuncle says:

    Didn’t they do this with the DEFCON badge or whatever protoboard I’m not gonna get because I don’t go to cons???

    Not-a-Con is by far the dumbest and people should fear it like the plague…

  13. erv says:

    thanks guys ! I decided against the PIR sensor since it’s not a continuous motion detector. I preferred to use a 3D accel as a motion sensor for the inertial interaction mode, then I simplified it in purpose, to keep the gameplay of a quick demo enjoyable. I first started using the accel & compass as a full inertial unit but ended up using it as a continuous 3D to 1D motion senor/pedometer to get it work without prior knowledge of use required.
    Actual locator was considered too (GPS beacon unit). That’s for the next prop !

  14. Mike says:

    Best prop evar!

  15. Macs says:

    Why not make this an iPhone/Android App? Make some money! All the hardware is available on most phones especially since it is GPS and not an actual motion detector?

  16. The problem of accuracy which the creator mentions actually fits in with the actual device in the movies: “Hudson: It’s reading right man, look! Hicks: Well, you’re not reading *it* right!”

  17. Sigg3 says:

    I get a slight panic from hearing that noise..

    But what will it be used for? Paintball Alien Skirmish?

  18. erv says:

    @Sigg3 : no skirmish, just fun & demo during conventions where I’ll eventually display it, and personal collection.

  19. f8l_0e says:

    @ David

    not to mention

  20. quinlan says:

    thats cool how can i order one of those i would pay top dollar for one thats for sure!

  21. vernon says:

    make the star trek replicator!

  22. nonner242 says:

    I soooo want one!
    Very NICE!

  23. JL says:

    Hello, I think it´s great. Would I get one? Will you make and sell one like this?

  24. Bryan Williams says:

    Hello, this looks a really cool. I had one of the master replicas but it fell part . Do you have any for sell , and you could be a rich man if you did!!! So, if you ever want to sell one I would buy one if the price was right for a low wage emt here in Texas USA. What does the item look like, does it look just like the film one ??


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