Robot dragons and other Guinness greats (pictures)
Gigantic dragons, mini cars, and wacky collections are just a few of the records Guinness serves up in its latest book.
Here be dragons
Every year, Guinness World Records comes out with a list of global superlatives. Aside from the extremes of human physiology, endurance, and other records, "Guinness World Records 2014" released Thursday, contains some eye-popping hardware feats. Not least is the world's largest walking robot.
Tradinno the dragon was built by Germany's Zollner Elektronik to showcase its high-tech prowess. At 51 feet long and 30 feet tall, it's an epic mechatronic machine, equipped with sensors, sophisticated hydraulics, and jets of fire. Here it performs in the folk play "Drachenstich" in the Bavarian town of Furth im Wald.
Tradinno is an 11-ton steel giant powered by a 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine and a sophisticated control system. Each of its legs has seven mobile degrees of freedom, allowing it to walk around corners and laterally.
Austin Coulson of Texas owns the Guinness record for the world's smallest roadworthy car, a vehicle basically made from scratch that's just under 50 inches long and about 25 inches wide. With its working seat belt, windshield wiper, turn signals, and horn, Coulson was able to get the mini-car authorized for road use.
Measuring 16 feet, 8.78 inches from the ground to the top of the handlebars, this bike is the largest rideable motorcycle in the world, according to Guinness. Fabio Reggiani of Italy built his 11,000-pound giant bike six times larger than a normal one.
Constructed over seven months, the two-wheeler is powered by a 5.7L V8 engine, runs at 280 horsepower, and has three forward gears plus reverse. It also has stabilizing wheels to keep it from toppling over.
James Brown, a 33-year-old from Nottingham, England, took home the oddball record of Largest Collection of Vacuum Cleaners in the latest Guinness book. For some reason, Brown began collecting vacuum cleaners at age 8 and now has a whopping 322 models, the focus of his museum of vacuum cleaners.
The collection has little value beyond its sheer eccentricity but includes rarities such as Kirby and Scott & Fetzer machines. Ironically, Brown does not enjoy housework, Guinness said in a release.
The Force is strong with "Star Wars" superfan Steve Sansweet, who was recognized for having the world's largest collection of "Star Wars" memorabilia and merchandise at an estimated 300,000 items.
The collection is housed at Rancho Obi-Wan, a nonprofit museum in Northern California. Sansweet, who used to work at the Wall Street Journal and Lucasfilm, continues to add to his collection, and says it will take years to fully document each item.