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Robosaurus is a transforming dinosaur robot created by inventor Doug Malewicki in 1989 and is now owned and operated by Monster Robots, Inc. Robosaurus is modeled after Transformers toys with the driver sitting in the head of the robot, and the ability to transform from a 48-foot semi trailer into a mechanical Tyrannosaurus rex. It has hydraulically activated arms, grasping claws, and jaws, and a flame thrower in the head to give the effect of breathing fire out of its nostrils. It is used at motorsport events (particularly monster truck events) and air shows to "eat" and burn vehicles such as automobiles and small airplanes.
Robosaurus took two years and $2.2 million to build, stands at a height of 40 feet when transformed and fully extended and weighs 31 tons. It is powered by a 500 horsepower, turbo charged, Cummins diesel engine. Four hydraulic pumps are used to manipulate the claws, which can exert 24,000 pounds of force. It houses two 20-gallon propane tanks to produce the fire breath effect, and houses air cannons that can be used to fire confetti, fireworks or missiles.
Similar machines based on the same concept include Megasaurus and Transaurus, as well as less direct imitators, such as "Draco the Dragonator" and "Tranzilla". A parody of Robosaurus, called Truckasaurus, is also present in the TV series The Simpsons in the episode Bart the Daredevil and in the videogame based on the franchise, Simpsons Hit 'n' Run.
Robosaurus starred in Steel Justice, a futuristic action pilot broadcast on NBC in 1992. It centered on a cop with the magical ability to turn his dead son's Robosaurus toy into a fire-breathing metal leviathan to help him fight crime. No series resulted.
It also appeared in "Robosaurus", a 2011 fourth-season episode of the History Channel reality series Pawn Stars, wherein its owner brought it to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and after demonstrating what it can do tried to sell it to the Harrisons at an offer of $1,000,000, which they refused.
It eventually was put up for auction by Barrett-Jackson and sold for $575,000.
Robosaurus was piloted by Michael A. Ryder, seated in the head of the monster, from 1991 through 1997.