Jonathan Tippett, from Vancouver, Canada, has always been fascinated by the dynamic between humans and machines.
This is what led him to design and build the largest tetrapod exo-skeleton, which he named PROSTHESIS.
PROSTHESIS measures 3.96 m (12 ft 11 in) tall, 5.1 m (16 ft 8 in) long and 5.51 m (18 ft 1 in) wide.
"I wanted to build a machine that celebrated the age-old pursuit of physical mastery and human skill. I combined it with modern technology to create an entirely new sport" - Jonathan Tippett
The exo-skeleton’s body and legs are made from 1,600 kg (3,527 lb) of Chromoly steel tubing, a high-performance material typically used in aerospace and racing car industry.
But how does this behemoth operate?
“The heart of the machine is a 96 volt 36 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, custom engineered,” Jonathan explained.
“That runs two AC electric motors which drive two hydraulic pumps and provide fluid flow to the hydraulic cylinders which put out as much as 12000 pounds of force each.”
The machine can’t operate without a pilot inside, connecting the high-power hydraulics to the highly sensitive control system in the exo-frame.
“The construction process was super intense. We built the entire machine in less than a year and have been testing it for three years since then,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan has devoted, in total, 13 years of his life creating this giant, rideable off-road racing exo-skeleton.
Despite spending so much time on the project, PROSTHESIS is very much a first prototype, and Jonathan is keen to make a smaller, lighter version next.
Becoming a Guinness World Records title holder is such an exciting privilege. When I was a kid I used to go through the book and leaf through every single page in awe, dreaming of what it would be like to be a record title holder. I did not set out to be a record title holder, but it's really gratifying, not just for me but for the entire team.
Check out another human controlled walking machine, the largest rideable hexapod!