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Teens Arrested For Motorized Office Chair 338

Posted by samzenpus
from the crazyboy dept.
German police have confiscated the world's fastest office chair and arrested its 17-year-old inventors. The duo added a lawnmower engine, brakes and a metal frame to the office chair and were reported to be driving it all over the streets of Gross-Zimmern. Police did not comment on the chair's handling or acceleration but I look forward to it being profiled on Top Gear.

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Teens Arrested For Motorized Office Chair

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  • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:10PM (#24660899)
    German engineering.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I for one welcome our rocket chair creating overlords.

      What did the cops get them for, speeding?
      • by R2.0 (532027) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:28PM (#24661183)

        "I for one welcome our rocket chair creating overlords. "

        In fairness, the picture is wholly unrelated to the story - unless they have started making Barcalounger shaped office chairs and 8 hp piston engines that shoot gigantic flames out the back. Both of which would be AWESOME!!

        • by RenderSeven (938535) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @04:46PM (#24664245)

          "In fairness, the picture is wholly unrelated to the story"

          ...and the picture isnt taken in August in Germany (note bare trees and winter driving gear) and the driver isnt 17 unless they've been taking East German steroids. Which would ALSO be AWESOME!

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by kaiidth (104315)

            There' s a picture on this web site [express.de], ie. this one [express.de].
            It's somewhat disappointing since it's more realistic to say they built a motorised platform, and stuck an office chair on it.

            There is also a side-note [express.de] describing the first German championship in office chair running, which took place in April. The paper also provide a set of increasingly disturbing images of hulking male participants dressed in various pink fluffy bunny type outfits draped in a variety of poses across office chairs... Apparently t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Oh, please. Making the chair is cool. Driving it on public roads is not so cool. I admit, I chuckled when I saw the picture, but they should have tested it out in an empty parking lot.

      On the other hand, this invention is uber cool!!!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anne_Nonymous (313852)

        >> they should have tested it out in an empty parking lot.

        It's an office chair isn't it? I'd like to roll up to a departmental meeting in one of those.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Legion_SB (1300215)

        >> Oh, please. Making the chair is cool. Driving it on public roads is not so cool.

        If they were potentially causing a danger on those streets, then OK. But if they weren't being reckless and disrupting safe traffic, then this deserved a "hey kids, cut that out", not a pair of handcuffs.

        If I made that chair, you bet I'd go find a nice non-busy stretch of road to haul ass on.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by st0rmshad0w (412661)

        Motorized wheelchairs are allowed on the roads, at least the residential streets around here, I don't see much difference.

    • by janeuner (815461) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:18PM (#24661005)
      God forbid that a bunch of kids make something on their own. They might, you know, invent something useful.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HungryHobo (1314109)

        not much chance of that but it's still cool :D

      • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:24PM (#24661115) Journal

        I think the problem isn't that they invented something, it's that they were very irresponsible with it (driving a motor vehicle on the streets without proper training or safety measures).

        And I wouldn't call a lawnmower-engine powered office chair "useful". Interesting, and amusing, but not useful.

        • by zamboni1138 (308944) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:44PM (#24661415)

          Imagine how much less congestion there would be on our highways if we all drove office chairs to work.

          Yes, I do understand that semi trucks would be an issue.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Where do you suggest they go to get "proper training" for a motorized office chair? ;-)

          • by MikeyVB (787338)

            Where do you suggest they go to get "proper training" for a motorized office chair? ;-)

            Since they were using it on the streets, they could start by getting a driving license like everyone else that operates a motorized method of transport in public.

            Now I am not sure about this, but I think in Germany you can't get a drivers license until you are 18 (and they were 17). Ironically, it probably would be safer for these guys to be driving a car on the streets than that contraption they built.

            I am all for inven

        • by jrockway (229604)

          (driving a motor vehicle on the streets without proper training or safety measures)

          What's wrong with this? It's perfectly legal to ride a home-built electrical bicycle on the road, without training or safety measures. What's the difference between a bicycle and an office chair?

          • What's the difference between a bicycle and an office chair?

            When you put an engine in it, the difference is that it has an engine in it. Engine-driven vehicles require licenses to be driven on public roads.

      • They can build a dozen of those. As long as they do not use it on a public road everything will be fine - at least legally.
    • by e2d2 (115622) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:56PM (#24661597)

      Much like the shamwow, it's from Germany and you know those guys make good stuff.

  • by bigtallmofo (695287) * on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:13PM (#24660937)
    I bet Dean Kamen is wondering why he wasted his time messing with gyroscopes and other sophisticated electronics. These can probably be made for 1/10th the cost of a Segway and they could probably be made just as maneuverable.

    Sure, you don't sit as highly as you stand but that's probably a good thing overall. Probably gets 200 MPG, too.
    • Re:Segway Competitor (Score:5, Interesting)

      by geeknado (1117395) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:46PM (#24663415)
      See, this is what /really/ should've been visualized in the Minority Report movie...Millions of office workers rolling to work in their powered office chairs, whisked up buildings and directly to their desks to toil...Silently sliding up to the bar at the end of the day...Ugh. I think I've just visualized the end of legs.
  • A use for all those leftover Aeron chairs from the Internet bubble.

  • This guy's [megasaurus.com] got two jet engines on his. Wonder how they'd like a drag?

  • Rocket chair? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:28PM (#24661181) Journal

    Is the picture misleading (i.e. not the chair referred to in the article) or did they do something significantly more than put a lawnmower engine on it?

  • disconnect (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991)
    You know, confiscation is not "arrest."
  • Outrageous!!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kellyb9 (954229)
    ... until i saw the picture. Probably should've let someone know he was going to attach a rocket to an office chair.
    • The "rocket chair" picture show something more like a recliner on a rocket cart.

      Not an "office chair" with a lawnmower engine.

      I think people are just making stuff up.

  • I hope this doesn't affect the funding from IKEA for my rocket propelled plastic lawn chair.

    I'm calling it the Blstöv.

  • but I wouldn't trust it going into the Hammerhead or Chicago. ;)

    *for those of us who Love Top Gear*

  • How does one get a job where a recliner is considered an "office chair"?

    • by guruevi (827432)

      That is in case your job title starts with a (capital) C and ends with a (capital) O. This makes it more unlikely to get bedsores from sitting there until the next stock report.

  • If the picture is accurate... talk about being in the hot seat?

  • The photo attached to the /. article is plainly not the same chair as the one in TA:

    The pair had added a lawnmower engine, bicycle brakes and a metal frame to the revolving chair - making into a go-kart-like vehicle.

    ...no lawnmower engine, no bicycle brakes, no revolving chair. What is going on, editors?

  • by nightfire-unique (253895) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @02:06PM (#24661753)

    I suppose this is probably one of those "happy-days" fantasies, but how cool would it be to live back in an age where regulation didn't exist. Where danger was all around. Where you could invent, and wow people. Where accidents happened. Where imagination was your only limit.

    The lawyer has replaced the priest.

  • from that photo it looks like a Lazy Boy reclining chair with the foot rest extended...

    http://images.google.com/images?&q=lazy%20boy%20recliner [google.com]
  • "I look forward to it being profiled on Top Gear."

    I look forward to the new specialty magazine, "Chair & Driver". There can be a professional circuit section, with souped up motorized wheel chairs, and a 'dirt track' stock chair section for vehicles like this. And just wait until Ky "Rocketman" Michaelson http://www.the-rocketman.com/ [the-rocketman.com] gets into it.

    Oh wait, he has: http://www.the-rocketman.com/full-throttle.html [the-rocketman.com]

    Seriously, this thing should fall under an unregulatable category, much like ultralight aircra

  • Why not a La-Z-Boy or other recliner?

    Too much chance of falling asleep at the wheel?

  • Picture (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sven Tuerpe (265795) <sven&gaos,org> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:02PM (#24662631) Homepage
    There is a picture of the actual vehicle [hr-online.de] on the Web. It seems that the office chair really constitutes just a minor component of it, which becomes obvious if you compare the vehicle to the racing chairs used in official championships [hr-online.de] (page in Germany, I'm sorry).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jadin (65295)

      Why couldn't the editors use the actual vehicle? It actually looks pretty cool, the sensational jet engine photo just lowers the overall nerd factor. It also makes the story far more debatable, any chair with flames out the back will obviously be stopped by police in short order, but the engineered one you linked, much less likely.

      Oh, right. This is idle.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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