Introduction: K'NEX Motorized Walking AT-TE From Star Wars

About: Hello! I'm a maths tutor and primary school teacher and have always had a passion for making things. This started at an early age with LEGO and K'NEX. I share my K'NEX projects on instructables for others to …

In this ible I will show you how to build a K'NEX walking All Terrain Tactical Enforcer (also known as AT-TE), from the Star Wars movies, and Clone Wars series. The model is fully motorized and can walk over several terrains such as: Vinyl and laminate floors, carpets and not un-important: bedsheets

The model is about 50 cm long and built from 810 K'NEX pieces. The model is motorized which means it can walk realisticly in a straight line. It has a big cannon on the top that can rotate 360° and 6 other cannons that can also move slightly.

The reference image is courtesy of unusualsuspex at

The building instructions are devided into the following steps:

  1. Parts needed
  2. Walking Mechanism
  3. Adding Legs
  4. Front end
  5. Armouring the AT-TE
  6. Adding Cannon & Finish

Step 1: Parts Needed

Knex pieces:

Buy at K'NEX User Group / K'NEX spares


  • 1x Battery Motor Grey short lead (For instance in Beasts Alive Bronto Set)
  • 2x AA type batteries


  • 112x Black rod (16 mm)
  • 135x Silver rod (32 mm)
  • 31x Blue rod (52 mm)
  • 14x Dark grey rod (86 mm)
  • 1x Grey rod (190 mm, from the Beasts alive set)


  • 5x 8-way black connector
  • 32x 7-way blue 3D connector
  • 84x 4-way silver 3D connector
  • 27x 5-way grey connector
  • 54x 3-way dark grey connector
  • 25x 2-way (V-shape) grey connector
  • 37x 2-way (long-shape) brown connector


  • 44x Clip with hole end dark gray (1-way connector)
  • 8x Hinge black part
  • 21x Metallic spacer (1½ width)
  • 20x Blue spacer (½ width)
  • 38x Black clip with rod end
  • 14x Metallic grey clip with rod end (for aestethic purposes)
  • 18x Clip with Ball end
  • 7x Clip with Socket end
  • 24x Clip blue
  • 8x Interlocking clip Tan/brown
  • 2x Ball and socket Large
  • 4x Axle stub


  • 4x Gear small Push-on Grey
  • 3x Crown gear medium Grey
  • 4x Gear small Dark blue


  • 22x Tri panel mini silver
  • 2x Tri panel small silver


  • 6x Wheel 25 mm Open centre black
  • 2x Hub Motorcycle Grey
  • 2x Hub/Pulley Medium

Step 2: Walking Mechanism

The walking mechanism is key to the movement of the AT-TE. It's not as difficult as it looks and I will try to explain how it works:

  1. The motor drives the middle main shaft, which makes two blue rods turn ex-centrically around it.
  2. The blue rods on each side (left and right of the model) are mirrored.
  3. At the same time, via a Crown gear, blue gears and another pair of crown gears, the other two shafts are driven.
  4. These shafts make the same rotation as the middle shaft, but have a 180° lead/lag
  5. This means that always 3 feet are on the ground: front left, middle right and rear left. The others are in the air and making a pace.
  6. To make a pace, the legs need to be lifted. This is done by creating a point that can move up and down, but not sideways. This is above the middle shaft.

If you have questions on how it works, feel free to ask in the comment secion.

Step 3: Adding Legs

The feet gave me the boundairies to how big the model would become. The middle feet are slightly bigger, and I resolved that in having grey connector clips as toes and a wheel hub as spherical centre. The typical armoured joints are made by another set of wheel hubs.

For the smaller legs, I had to scale things down, which wasn't easy. It took me 4 designs to come to the final solution. Here, grey gears form the joints.

Step 4: Front End

Right after making the walking mechanism, I designed the drivers cabin and the front end. I tried using orange and red, but I found these colours to be too bright. Instead I used the brown.

For the cannons, I came up with a ball-joint connection that fits through a 3D-connector's slot. Some armouring is already done, before the front end is installed, by flipping it over to the front.

Step 5: Armouring the AT-TE

From the start of building the AT-TE, I was looking forward to the armouring: Because it would be a challenge to get the angles of the different plates at a good angle. I'm lucky to have many K'NEX silver panels, but I never used so many in one model.

Attaching it to the model was also a lot of fun, I had to find ways to connect it to the walking mechanism/frame. But while building, I left some connector places open, so it was easier to do.

Step 6: Adding Cannon & Finish

The cannon was not easy to design, although relatively simple. I saw some disks at the side, so I added K'NEXmen head instead. Also here there are two mini panes that mimic the original shape. If you use your imagination, there's even a little stool where the gunner can sit :)

After building this, I feel more confident in building an AT-AT Walker >:D That's right, that is still on my list to build! Check out what more:

I hope you enjoyed reading my instructable!

Thanks and maybe the Force be with you!


Make it Move Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2016