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George Lucas' AT-AT Vehicle Based on Real-Life General Electric/U.S. Army Prototype

 
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06/24/2012 11:28 AM
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George Lucas' AT-AT Vehicle Based on Real-Life General Electric/U.S. Army Prototype
"What's 11 feet tall, walks on 4 legs and drinks gasoline? That's easy--it's General Electrics' first quadruped war machine!

"Development first began in 1962 at the General Electric Ordnance Department in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as part of a study for the US Army to build manned walking machine to get through rough terrain that other vehicles can't; it was called the "Pedipulator". In 1965, impressed by the results of the study, the Department of Defense asked GE to build the Pedipulator, and GE soon had a working model. That's right, folks: GE and the military had a working quadruped before George Lucas even dreamed up the AT-AT walker (the first drafts of the Star Wars screenplay were written in 1973).

"The quadruped was supposed to be designed to have 12-foot legs and to walk at a speed of 35 miles per hour. The operator, a fleshy human, was directly in charge of the machines movement--no microcontroller interface needed. By making movements with their own human limbs, the operator would tell the robot which limbs to move through the use of hydraulics. The Pedipulator was to be built large enough to contain not just the operator but also circuits, servos, and of course power units..."

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06/24/2012 11:30 AM
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Re: George Lucas' AT-AT Vehicle Based on Real-Life General Electric/U.S. Army Prototype
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