Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Dragon That Cannot Fly

A fully functioning walking robot – a mechanical dragon with a 40-foot wingspan – with the dimensions of 15.50 m x 3.80 m x 4.50 m (length x width x height), a total weight of 11.0 tons, driven by a 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine with 140 PS (i.e. a mechanical performance of 80 kW and electrical power of 10 kW) has been recognized as the "world's largest walking robot", according to the 2014 edition of the Guinness World Records.
The dragon is made up of two hydraulic circuits consisting of 272 valves, 50 drives and uses 165 liters of oil. It also has 4,265ft of electric cables and 360ft or pneumatic lines. It can travel at around one mile per hour using its 140hp engine. And each of its legs has seven degrees of motion, which means it can move laterally and walk around corners.

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" – is expected to replace the aging star of Germany's oldest folk play, "Drachenstich" – which means Spearing the Dragon or more literally, dragon stab – has been performing each August in the Bavarian town of Furth im Wald for the past 500 years!
Mechanics aside, Tradinno is, above all, a showbot. With polyurethane and glass reinforced plastics skin, veins that bleed 80 liters (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.


Just compare the above with Cygan – one of the most sophisticated robots of its time – made in 1957!
Its designer was Ing Fiorito, an aeromodeller from Turin, Italy. The machine, made up of 300,000 parts and 8-foot tall, was able to go forwards and backwards, move its arms and crush drinks cans with its hands. It is endowed with an ability to accept spoken commands and respond to light rays.
An unnamed buyer in the UK just paid £17,500 for the robot in an auction at Christie's, far more than the estimate of £8,000-£12,000. The sale was part of a special collection at Christie's called ‘Out of the Ordinary’.

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