Archive for March 24th, 2007

Da Vinci Automata Got Boing Boinged again!

Our blog got boingboinged again, Here is my favorite part of the post from BoingBoing, “I wish I had time to write something for it!” We would REALLY love to have something by Cory Doctorow, one the reasons being that Cory is one of our favorite writers amongst the new generation of sci-fi writers. (Its not Clockpunk but check out Cory’s new novel Overclocked and an old one Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (CC license).)


Leonardo’s Lost Robots

I recently got this book from the library and it looks promising. The author, Mark Rosheim, seems to have put together stuff from various Da Vinvi manuscripts to construct automatas based on the design. Here is the description of the book from the publisher.

Leonardo´s Lost Robots reinterprets Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical design work, revealing a new level of sophistication not recognized by art historians or engineers. By identifying his major technological projects, the book revisits Leonardo’s legacy of notebooks, showing that apparently unconnected fragments from dispersed manuscripts actually comprise cohesive designs for functioning automata. Using the rough sketches scattered throughout almost all of Leonardo’s papers, Rosheim has reconstructed Leonardo’s programmable cart, which was the platform for other automata: a Robot Lion, a Robot Knight, and a hydraulically powered automaton for striking a bell. Through a readable, lively narrative, Mark Rosheim recounts his adventures rediscovering and reconstructing da Vinci’s designs. In a foreword, the world-renowned Leonardo scholar Carlo Pedretti details the significance of these reconstructions for our understanding of Leonardo’s oeuvre.

Leonardo’s Lost Robots @ Amazon

Leonardo’s Lost Robots @ Springer

March 2007
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Knowing and Doing

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“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” - Leonardo Da Vinci