Dave Stein, a Star Wars Fan is a software engineer by day and a tinkerer on Arduino projects in his free time after work. Recently he submitted his first project on his blog with the goal to power his old AT-AT walker toy with Arduino Uno.
The blog post shows the complete modifications and the final structural designs where the AT-AT walker is now able to walk and perform actions displayed in the Star Wars Movies. If you are not familiar AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport) are the most famous military symbols introduced in “Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back”. They are the four-legged combat walker of the galactic empire, and we can easily see them appearing in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
Check out the video below to get more information about the walker
The AT-AT is controlled via a wired Xbox 360 controller that interfaces with a computer and then sends a signal to the Arduino Uno board to make the walker to move. Stein explained more about the creation and build process here.
The left and right triggers move the walker forward and backward while the right stick moves the head horizontally. If you have ever played with this toy you may remember it was clumsy and difficult to move. In my project I wanted to learn about and conquer the difficulties of quadrupedal movement. The realization process for my project involved a massive amount of trial and error, research, and failures. I have to say that I failed many more times than I succeeded with configuring the servos with the Arduino. I went down many long roads to learn about prototyping with the breadboard, soldering, and redesigns of the final product. The most difficult part of the project aside from adjusting the gait of the walker for balance and movement was providing enough power to the servos without frying the microcontroller or any of the components. I was finally able to overcome these difficulties by implementing the Adafruit servo shield.
The AT-AT walker is a combination of Arduino Uno, an Adafruit Servo Shield, Sbox 360 Controller, and a beat-up 1981 Kenner AT-AT Walker. If you have an interest in building the moveable walker by your own then no need to worry as it’s completely a DIY stuff. You can gather the components easily at over Ebay, Amazon and local markets. You can easily check out Stein’s blog to get idea about the components and the tuts which he will be sharing in near-future.
Source: AtAt Project