Friday, April 17, 2015

Renaissance Roboticist

Leonardo and his Robotic Cart
Leonardo da Vinci  was not only an artistic genius, architect, scientist and inventor. He was an honest to goodness Renaissance Roboticist! He essentially designed mechanical devices that were "programmable" using interchangeable cams. Here is video that shows some of Leonardo's designs and where they led. (including the work of Mark Rosheim - see below). The synthesized narration has some interesting pronunciations! 

My children currently attend a school whose mascot is the Warriors. They use a knight as their symbol. The school also has a very active robotic's club. When I remembered Leonardo's robotic knight, the two ideas came together, I started doing some thinking about how the robotic's club might adopt Leonardo's Knight as the robotic's club mascot or logo.

So, I did a bit of "Googling." Here is a little mix of info about Leonardo's design and the work to understand and reconstruct some of his ideas by modern day roboticist, Mark Rosheim. Some of the drawings are Leonardo's and some are modern - in the style of Leonardo.

Rosheim and Leonardo's Cart

A Robotic take on Leonardo's Vitruvian Man

Da Vinci's robots are described in Mark Rosheim's book, Leonardo's Lost Robots, which I have posted about before. You can find it here. I dug out my copy and had another look. Very interesting! Rosheim is self educated and brilliant. His company's website is here. Watch the great video about him and his da Vinci research below.

Maybe this will lead to something, maybe not... But it was a fun bit of research and reading. Do a little "Googling" yourself!

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