If you're making the world's largest walking robot, obviously you go all out and make it spectacular. Something that can shoot flames. Otherwise, what's the point?
After more than a decade of planning and work, the "Tradinno" project received the recognition it deserved. Listed in the newly released "Guinness World Records 2014," the 11-ton mechanical dragon, 51 feet long with a 40-foot wingspan, is the "world's largest walking robot."
The remote-controlled megatronic behemoth is the reptilian child of Germany's Zollner Elektronik AG. Built for show business, Tradinno — its name a mashup of "tradition" and "innovation" — won't be seen on "Game of Thrones" or challenging Harry Potter as part of the the Triwizard Tournament. Instead, this four-legged, wing flapping robot will replace the aging star of Germany's oldest folk play, "Drachenstich," performed each August in the Bavarian town of Furth im Wald.
"Paging Daenerys Targaryen ... Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen ... "
The previous dragon is a mechanical model made from a design that hasn't changed much in 35 years. It requires four inside operators, which negate any robotic status.
"Realizing a radio remote-controlled, outdoor-capable four-legged robot walking robot in unheard-of dimensions, was what really motivated the developers and designers at Zollner Elektronik AG," the company writes.
The dragon is "driven by a 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine ... a robot outshining all human actors," the website boasts.
Mechanics aside, Tradinno is, above all, a showbot. With polyurethane and glass reinforced plastics skin, veins that bleed 21 gallons of stage blood on cue, and liquid gas for fire-breathing pyrotechnics, the only thing Tradinno can't do — despite the wings — is fly. But then, would we really want 11 tons of flaming cyberdraconian rage swooping and diving overhead?
Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah abut the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook.
First published September 13 2013, 1:06 PM