Wednesday, September 19, 2007

2,000+ Year Old Robot Rocks Again!

From: New Scientist
"New Scientist recreates a robot made by the ancient Greeks"
"Technology feature editor Ben Crystall explains how he recreated a programmable robot dating from 60AD..."
Print Article from New Scientist>>>
"When Lionardo was at Milan the King of France came there and desired him to do something curious; accordingly he made a lion whose chest opened after he had walked a few steps, discovering himself to be full of lilies."
Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects (Florence 1550).
Constructing a mechanical lion that could walk, let alone present flowers to the king, can't have been a simple task back in 1515 - even for a genius like Leonardo da Vinci. How he managed this feat remained a mystery until 2000, when US robotics expert Mark Rosheim came to a surprising conclusion.
Pulling together fragments of notes and drawings, Rosheim worked out that the lion was almost certainly powered by a clockwork cart illustrated in da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus (see Illustration) Intriguingly, Rosheim suggested that the cart's steering mechanism was controlled by arms attached ..."

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