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This engineer brought an old Star Wars AT-AT walker to life

This engineer brought an old Star Wars AT-AT walker to life


With an Arduino Uno and an Xbox controller

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Beyond lightsabers and famous script snippets, nothing is quite as iconic in the Star Wars universe as the monstrous AT-AT walkers. The assault vehicles that made their appearance first in the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back have inspired countless real-life creations, including a detailed model from toy company Kenner in 1981. The only problem: it doesn't actually walk.

So software engineer and tinkerer Dave Stein wired one up using an Arduino Uno microcontroller with a set of servos driven by a Adafruit servo shield. He programmed the whole thing to operate via an Xbox 360 controller. Stein says he plans on mounting a camera to the toy's head and figuring out how best to get the AT-AT cannons to move independently. Even better, he also plans on creating tutorial videos so AT-AT fans can do the same. Check out Stein's AT-AT Project website here.

Stein is calling his work the AT-AT project

The vintage model can be found on Ebay for around $150 to $300, and the components to help it come to life cost a few hundred bucks themselves. Of course, you could buy a remote controlled AT-AT from Toys R Us for $100, but no modern toy can trump the detail in Kenner's classic version.