The Greek Who Brings Dinosaurs Back to Life in Beijing

Engineer Vaios Panagiotou taking photographs of his gigantic creations. Photo from his personal Facebook page

Vaios Panagiotou is a 43-year old Greek engineer based in the Chinese capital Beijing who has spent that last several years in the unlikely pursuit of building and maintaining gigantic robotic dinosaurs.

Panagiotou graduated from the University of Brighton in Great Britain, where he took his Mechanical Engineering degree several years ago.

He later decided to move to China, following a successful career in building small-sized robotic animals. The engineering wizard then found himself the head of a team including artists, engineers and technicians, who had been hired by the Chinese state authorities to create a spectacular show for Beijing’s national stadium.

Vaios Panagiotou several years ago, while working on the early creation of robotic animals

Originally from the city of Larissa in Thessaly, Panagiotou has lived in Beijing and worked as an engineer for the last several years. His largest project by far has been that of building these life-sized dinosaurs, which will be displayed at Beijing’s national stadium in front of thousands of people, in their own exclusive theme park.

ένα μικρό βίντεο πως έγινε αυτό το μεγάλο έργο με τους ρομποτικους δεινόσαυρους στο πεκινο

Posted by Vaios Panagiotou on Wednesday, 4 April 2018

 

Panagiotou’s personal story is very interesting, as he originally wanted to join the Greek military Air Force and become a pilot.

However, a serious illness which occurred just when he was about to take the Air Force examination, prevented him from entering the force. This event ended up changing his life forever, as he decided to go to England and study engineering there.

Panagiotou’s English language skills were not particularly good at the outset, but he persevered despite that. After years of hard work, the Greek engineer managed to become the head of the team which created these robotic dinosaurs, which are unique in the world.

Panagiotou first worked as a builder of robotic animals which represent the years of the Chinese zodiac, but his most prestigious and difficult task by far has been the creation of the dinosaurs.

”These giant movable robots took two years to design, and upon their construction became the largest dinosaur robots in the world,” Panagiotou said in an interview with the University of Brighton.

”The timescale was very short, and we had to succeed on our first attempt. For years, my life was nothing but work. But we did it – and in my view, it was nothing short of a miracle,” Panagiotou added.