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My thinking hat has been on for a few days. I also used this as an excuse to do some research (aka watching 'A New Hope' again). I noted that jomoenginer has decided to build a box droid so I kept an eye out for the other droids in the film and soon realised that they would require a lot of work. I then thought that maybe I should do a 'non-starwars' project and make my own PCB and Arduino shield - mounting something that operates at a fast clock or RF on there but with a I2C or SPI interface. But I also really wanted to do something Starwars themed.


Then while looking though one of my boxes of unused parts I found this:

The module is the MM7150 Motion Module from Microchip Inc


Now back in 'A New Hope' I recalled Luke using some binoculars; searching the internet they are called Macrobinoculars

photo from Macrobinoculars | Wookieepedia | FANDOM powered by Wikia


Project Aim

The aim of my project is to - use an Arduino Uno, a Motion Coprocessor MM7150 module, an LCD display and some optics to make a binocular with Heads Up Display )HUD) to show useful information. The Macrobinocular clips in the film are only brief and I am not too clear what they are showing (27:30 and 29:14 minutes in for my version of the film e.g. when the Sandmen attack Luke).


Reality and Possible Issues

  • I don't have any experience of making or working with optics ! But I do have access to the internet and so will be doing some reading.
  • How to defocus the LCD to infinity as that is where the user would be looking.
  • Like most E14 community members - we all have other things on (e.g. day job, caring for family/friends, socialising, Roadtests, shopping, fixing stuff....). Therefore my project will likely be an unfinished project, with some interesting snippets of development, rather than a unit akin to what Luke is holding....perhaps I will finish it at a later date.


Main Steps


  • Mount the MM7150 module and a voltage translator (5v Arduino/3.3v MM7150)
  • Write code/library to communicate with MM7150 via I2C
  • Develop that code to read the sensor data in meaningful terms.
  • Calibration?
  • Do a basic experiment using a piece of glass to try and reflect the LCD image from a dark enclosure up into my line of sight (LOS). I'm assuming it will get reversed; so I can either reflect it twice or write my own characters to the LCD that are backward (or buy a graphics module eg like this from Farnell).
  • Display useful data on LCD
  • Combine the breadboarded circuit with the optics.
  • Finishing Off (as below)


Finishing Off

Lastly I'd need to apply cosmetic/model making skills to produce something similar unit to Luke's unit. I like combining electronics and prop making....he's a Portal Gun that I made a few years ago:



Have a Go Yourself

By posting this Macrobinocular themed idea I don't want to stop other E14 members from trying out the same thing (or variation on). If you want to enter the Open Arduino Challenge with your own Macrobinocular project then feel free