Single Trooper Aerial Platform
It was similar in design to personal repulsorlift airhooks used for both civilian and military purposes. Designed to travel fast, the STAP's only weapon was a twin blaster cannon connected to it. High voltage energy cells powered the machine.
Each STAP was piloted by a single battle droid that stood on a long foot panel, gripping a pair of handles that controlled its weapons and were used to pilot the craft. STAPs utilized by the Trade Federation prior to the Clone Wars tended to be brown in color; Separatist STAPs were predominantly blue with white triangular markings.
The STAP-1 was used for scouting and anti-personnel hunting operations, and would occasionally be used in open battle to harass enemy forces. Because of its open design, STAP units were vulnerable to enemy heavy weapons, making them rely on their speed and agility to dodge enemy fire.
Later, they would be used during the Clone Wars, especially during the Dark Reaper Crisis, on planets such as Raxus Prime, alongside heavy armored vehicles. During the Battle of Teth, STAPs were utilized by the Separatist forces against the clone troopers and AT-TEs scaling the cliff wall. Anakin Skywalker managed to destroy all but one by knocking their droid pilots off, using the remaining STAP to reach the top of the cliff. STAPs were again utilized by the Separatists on Naboo during the Blue Shadow Virus crisis. A small force of three battle droids riding STAPs were escorting a tactical droid when the convoy was destroyed by Captain Typho, Chrin and another member of the Royal Naboo Security Forces. They were also deployed by the CIS during the Battle of Tirahnn.
It is possible that the STAP was based on the real life VZ-1 Pawnee, an experimental flying platform developed by the U.S. military and designed to be piloted by a single soldier.