The AT-AT Walker was one of the more fearsome weapons of the Star Wars universe, even if it was incredibly slow and vulnerable to getting tangled up in Rebel tow cables. However, you can build your own small-scale example using servos for propulsion, as [Luke J. Barker] ably demonstrates.
The build is a remix of the motorized AT-AT from [LtDan] on Thingiverse, originally powered by a 90 rpm DC gearmotor. [Luke] remixed the design, setting it up to be driven by eight servomotors instead. They’re controlled from a SparkFun RedBoard Edge, an Arduino-compatible microcontroller board that fits rather neatly inside the AT-AT shell.
Programmed with a simple sine-wave walk cycle, the AT-AT ambles along in a ponderous manner. It’s altogether very much like the real fictitious thing, albeit without the scorching sizzle of blaster fire ringing out across a frozen plain.
Quadruped vehicles never really caught on for military use, but that’s not to say nobody ever tried. Video after the break.
Some of the luckiest kids in the world have to be the ones with hackers and makers as parents. While normal kids are stuck playing with cookie cutter mass produced toys, these kids get one-off gadgets and creations that will be the envy of the playground. Frankly, some of the stuff ends up being so cool that it’ll get the adults wishing they could go back in time and play with it.
One such parent, and one such project, is the Imperial Rocker by [Matthew Regonini]. Hoping to instill an obsession with a galaxy far, far, away on his offspring, [Matthew] designed this AT-AT rocking horse piece by piece in Illustrator, and then cut it all out of birch using his XCarve CNC router. Each piece was then meticulously glued together to produce a final 3D effect from the individual cutouts.
With a liberal application of spring clamps to hold it all together while it dried, all that was left to do was painstakingly sand all the parts so the edges of the laminated construction would be smooth. Dowels were then added for the handlebars and foot pegs, and a few coats of polyurethane seal up the plywood while bringing out a natural look.
[Matthew] notes some issues here and there, notably quite a bit of blowout in some of the detail cuts and a couple miscalculated dimensions. But he reasons that the rocker is going to live a pretty hard life anyway, so best not to sweat the small stuff.
What? You were expecting a BB8 build? We have one of those too. [DrYerzinia] has begun a design that hides a quadcopter inside of the BB8. The four 17″ DJI propellers fold up when not in use, extending through hatches in the outer shell when it’s time to take flight. This retains the rolling design you’ve already come to love in the BB8 and we’re going to keep our eyes on it!
Do you have a Teensy and some extra WS2812 strips hanging out on your bench? [etix] put his to use with an ambilight clone. This works really well: simple hardware which connects via USB to communicate with VLC. We applaud [etix’s] choice of Kung Fury as a demo video… a truly bizarre and entertaining short movie. +1000 for its use of VHS tape artifacts.
We just missed Halloween, but this set of wings is far too great of a build to be reserved for that one day. Alas, there is only the demo video but seeing the huge feathered structures fold and unfold is really impressive!
[Truebass] added an artistic accent to one of the walls in his home. He had several cellphone chargers from old phones in his junk bin. These were used to regulate power for some white LEDs. The finished sconces are made from chip-board covered in cherry veneer, all leftover from previous projects.
Want to drink your beer out of beer-byproducts? How about your coffee out of coffee-byproducts. It sounds strange, but 3DOM is marketing it that way, encouraging you to print your beer stein with this beer-byproduct-based 3D printer filament. They also offer coffee filament and have plans for future oddball building materials. Printer inception?
[Jedii72] needed a power supply. A quick search online revealed many instructions for building one out of an old ATX power supply, but — he didn’t want just any kind of power supply — he wanted to build an AT-ATX.
He started with a vintage AT-AT toy from the 80’s, and then began cutting it into pieces. Hold for gasps of disbelief. Don’t worry though — it was in poor condition to start with, so it was never really considered a collectible. After cleaning over 30 years of grime and dirt off the toy, he gave it a fresh coat of jet black paint — not exactly canon, but it does look pretty awesome. You know, it would make a pretty awesome Sci-Fi contest entry, don’t you agree? Continue reading “An AT-ATX: A Different Kind Of Power Supply”→
While Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog is pretty impressive, check out this video of the US Army’s first attempt at a quadruped vehicle. Created in the early 1960s with the help of GE, this Army experiment was the first successful attempt of replicating a four-legged animal with a mechanical machine.
This “Walking Truck” was driven by a single operator who moved each of the vehicle’s legs using force-feedback hydraulic levers. Choreographing the machine’s movement was quite complicated, and during testing the Army found that the operator needed a mental break after only 15 minutes of use. As you can see in the video, the vehicle flexes some serious muscle. It kicks a Jeep out of its way with little effort, but it is still able to gently step on a light bulb without breaking it, due to the level of tactile feedback received by the operator.
If it weren’t for government budget cuts, we could be living out [George Lucas’] dream of AT-AT based combat right this minute!