The Stargate-Arduino (Chappa’ai) connection

A Stargate is a portal device within the fictional SG universe that facilitates practical, rapid travel between two distant locations.

According to Wikipedia, the devices first appear in the 1994 Roland Emmerich film Stargate – and subsequently in the television series Stargate SG-1 Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. 

The stargates – created millions of years ago by an alien civilization known as the Ancients – typically measures 4.6 m (15 ft) in diameter and weighs in at 29 metric tons (64,000 pounds).

Since a “proper” sized stargate may be a little too big for the average living room, den or basement, a Maker by the name of Shlonkin is working to create a smaller replica, (19cm in diameter), complete with a dialing computer.

“It will move and light up just like the version in SG-1. When a proper address is dialed, a connection will be opened up via the Internet to a corresponding device or computer,” Shlonkin explained in a recent HackADay blog post.

“Exactly what will be transmitted has not yet been decided. The hardware/Internet interface will be via [an Atmel-based] Arduino Uno (ATmega328 MCU). One team member, myself, will design and build the physical device. Another member, Dkopta, will create the software.”

Aside from the Atmel-based Uno, key project components include:

  • Two 1.2mm polypropylene sheet
  • Two 3mm polypropylene cutting board
  • One wireless 10-key (IR)
  • One stepper motor
  • One SN754410 H-Bridge for the motor
  • 7 red SMD LEDs and 1k resistors
  • One plastic food container
  • Assorted paints

“I will definitely post all the build details, but not until I make a little more progress. The parts are made with hand tools. I’ll probably use some thin(5mm) HDPE boards that are really easy to carve. I’ve never done anything this detailed with HDPE, so it will be a learning experience,” he added.

“We will go as far as we can get before the end of the contest. I would love it if the top chevron moved like in SG-1, but since it is so small(about 2cm) I don’t know if I will be able to pull it off, [but] I’ll think [about] it.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official HackADay page here.

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