British engineer builds largest rideable robot

His inspiration came from 'Star Wars' and Legos


Matt Denton operates his Mantis robot earning the Guinness World Records certificate for Largest rideable hexapod robot.

WINCHESTER, England - A British engineer's childhood fascination for Legos and "Star Wars" led him to movie fame and a world record.

Matt Denton collected a Guinness World Records certificate for the largest rideable hexapod robot, measuring 9 feet, 2 inches tall and 16 feet, 4 inches wide, and weighing nearly 2 tons.

Denton said he was inspired as a child by the AT-ATs from "Star Wars," which led to an affinity for walking machines.

He also credits Lego kits for nurturing his creative curiosity.

"Lego Technic sets fired up my imagination as a child," Denton said. "I probably wouldn't be doing what I do now without them."

Denton built nearly 20 smaller walking machine models, sharing them online. One of them ended up being used as a six-legged tortoise in the movie "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." In all, his special-effects expertise has been a part of 11 motion pictures.

Matt received an award for his work on the BB8 robot in "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens." He said he has far exceeded his childhood dreams.

"My younger self, there is no way that they could believe it, that I would end up working on a film and building a giant walking machine," he said.

His success helped find investors for his largest model yet, the Mantis, which earned him the record title.

"It's amazing to be in the Guinness World Records book - it's fascinating. To have that title is fantastic," he said.


Matt Denton drives his award-winning Mantis robot.

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