Friday, April 22, 2011

Could a real-life "Star Wars" AT-AT be Built?

Mike Koehler's wants to bring his AT-AT For America dream to reality. From the Boing Boing Article:
  • Heiko Hoffman, a robotics expert at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, CA. says, Making a modern-day robotic walker is not impossible, but it easily could cost $100 million or more.
The first decision is, do you make it just to "look" like an AT-AT or do you build the 50 foot quad-armored walker? The reason being a full scale build may be upwards of a hundred times the model sizes but the materials used in construction would have stresses of up to 1000 times that of the mock ups and that not only stresses the main sections but puts huge stresses on the leg joints. Though the "statically stable" walking method would work, moving anything faster than a slow shuffle would be impossible. As the movie showed even having a working AT-AT is not enough. Rebels took one down with comparatively simpler and far less expensive tech.

Realistically building something that "looks" like an Imperial Walker would be far cheaper and every bit as cool.

Boing Boing
Innovation News article
Wiki AT-AT page


Charles said...

Built in skirt with knife and bolt cutters would stop the rope.

Beam Me Up said...

big damn pair of bolt cutters that! Fun to visualize though. gnashing away with each step........

Blizno said...

The entire concept is foolish. Put your important parts (cannons, electronics, humans, etc.) in a slow-moving pod held high above the ground? There's no more tempting way to dangle a target in front of heavy enemy weapons.

I much prefer the almost-intelligent automated tanks of the Bolo novels.
Bolos are fast, low to the ground, very heavily armored, armed with Hellbores and even worse weapons and, most importantly, dedicated to defending the honor of the regiment at all costs.
Give me one Bolo and I will hold off any number of Imperial walkers.

Here is too much information:

Beam Me Up said...

Yeah, basing national pride on a 50foot walking bread box?! (oh I will get mail for that!) I often wondered if Lucas was going for weird weapons for weird weapons sake. Even that bi-ped two man chicken looking thing seemed unlikely. I guess with the advancements they have made in stabilization and that thing DARPA is working on, I guess I can see legs being a point of interest in the future, but an AT AT? Yeah the tank idea is much more feasible. I don't recall reading any of the BOLOs but the automated machine in some form or another has really fascinated me over the years. My first exposure was a cross over, McCaffrey's The Ship Who Sang was interesting, but the sequels didn't do the concept any favors. Stories like Bear's Tide-Line were really good. Dont get me wrong though, I have read stories that featured AI controlled Battle Tanks and I like the idea a great deal.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah ,AT AT , that tank without weapons on sides or back....slower than a huge even any weapon includng ballistic missiles could lock it from orbit....Even me i can win against one , i just circle around until it runs out of energy XD

Beam Me Up said...

wow, flash from the past on this one!
But to be fair, its whenever whatever.

I never saw the utility of these things....costing billions and brought low by a piece of cable....but then that is why it is space fantasy....