‘Star Wars’ Fan Builds Working Speeder Bike Drone

Woodworth even constructed a new skeleton for the stormtrooper, in order to lighten the drone.

An engineer who happens to be a Star Wars fan has taken his love of the sci-fi films to the next level, fashioning a toy speeder bike into the latest in a series of functioning quadcopter drones inspired by the classic movies.

Adam Woodworth is a Google engineer and an MIT graduate, according to T3, and he recently found a way to combine his love of Star Wars with a radio controlled vehicle hobby he has engaged in since childhood. Seeking to recreate his favorite Star Wars scene, the speeder bike chase from Return of the Jedi, Woodworth acquired a 1999 Hasbro toy from eBay and set about designing his drone.

As Woodworth details in a post on Make:, he used CAD to design a layout of 4 seven-inch-long, triple bladed rotors that were capable of lifting the customized drone. Since the speeder bike’s rider provided too much excess weight for the drone, Woodworth created a custom skeleton for the figure out of old Nerf darts, pipe cleaners, and 6mm carbon tubes. Control over the drone is provided by a 3DRobotics PixHawk, while the rotors are driven by 880kv 28mm motors, mounted on 10mm carbon tubes that extend from the speeder bike’s sides.

In addition to fashioning a lightweight frame for the drone’s rider, Woodworth fitted a small, first person camera to a Styrofoam ball that can be switched with the stormtrooper’s head. The result is enough to bring a smile to any Star Wars fan’s face, as video captured from the drone depicts the bike’s pointed prow cutting through the air among an Endor-like wooded park.

Though innovative, Woodworth’s drone isn’t the first Star Wars inspired quadcopter to make its way onto the internet recently. In February, the Inquisitr reported on one Star Wars fan who constructed a Millennium Falcon drone, posting video of the foam-shelled ship to YouTube. Earlier this month, a drone constructed in the shape of a TIE Interceptor, built by the same hobbyist, debuted online. Featuring the same dagger-shaped solar panels as the film model, the drone represented an intricate copy of the interceptor.

Fans interested in a closer look at how Woodworth constructed his speeder bike quadcopter can head to Make: for the full rundown on his Star Wars inspired drone.

[Image: Adam Woodworth via Popular Science]