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Leonardo's Lost Robots [Hardcover]

Mark Rosheim

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Book Description

14 Jun 2006 047085104X 978-1402077548 1st ed. 2006. Corr. 2nd printing. 2006

This book reinterprets Leonardo da Vinci's mechanical design work, revealing a new level of sophistication not recognized by art historians or engineers. The book reinterprets Leonardo's legacy of notes, 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 notebooks, the author has reconstructed Leonardo's programmable cart, which was the platform for other automata. Through a readable, lively narrative, the author explains how he reconstructed da Vinci's designs.

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From the reviews:

"In ‘Leonardo’s Lost Robots’, Rosheim is on the trail of another intriguing da Vinci mystery: Did the renowned Renaissance painter, inventor, engineer and architect design some of the world’s earliest robots? … This book should appeal to readers interested in engineering history, robotics and mechanical engineering, and it should serve as a helpful resource in teaching early engineering. ‘Leonardo’s Lost Robots’ offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of Renaissance technology and the genius of Leonardo da Vinci." (Robin Tatu, ASEE PRISM, Vol. 16 (1), September, 2006)

"Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated by automata and sketches of robotic mechanisms are spread through his notebooks. Rosheim, in this beautifully illustrated volume, explores their feasibility and traces da Vinci’s legacy among modern robot makers." (Financial Times UK, December, 2006)

About the Author

Mark Rosheim attended the University of Minnesota, studying mechanical engineering. He has developed robotic technologies for NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy, and is the founder and president of Ross-Hime Designs, Inc., a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based mechanical design company. He holds over 20 patents in robot technology, and has published and lectured extensively around the world on the topic of robot technology and history.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRUE MASTER! 29 Jan 2007
By ax - Published on Amazon.com
With all the "hype" regarding Leonardo due to Dan Brown's DaVinci Code, it would be a travesty to miss out on this book. A book that focuses on Leonardo's other works beyond what is commonly known. He was a visionary and truly thought outside of the box with ideas well before his time. A man born without nobility, yet died among Kings! His works are survived in this book showing he was more than a painter but an amazing inventor.

This book is perfect for anyone interested in one of the many aspects of the "Great Master". Fantastic illustrations reprinted in this wonderful and educational book, perfect for all ages, from JR High through University.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricate, Marvellous and Wacky Inventions. 15 April 2007
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
This book helps to clear up one of the really silly images of Leonardo that exist in our world today.

People often think of Leonardo as some kind of supreme genius. We have a popular image of him sitting on a lofty mountain, serenely contemplating the universe from a point far beyond the reach of ordinary mortals.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

This book reveals the long and honorable history of how Leonardo learned from others about how to do his science. His teacher, Verrocchio, was a mechanical inventor who created a rather fabulous, whimsical clock. Leonardo learned from him and applied his principles to other things.

Throughout his life, Leonardo worked within a sphere of known mechanical knowledge. He stretched it in some places and improved it in others.

He was a very good scientist, and an extremely good observer. But an all-encompassing divine genius, he was not.

This simply proves what we've all known for years. Science cannot be done in a vaccum. Great achievements do not happen in isolation. Things happen because communities of people work together to toward a common goal - exactly like the kind of artist community Leonardo worked in under his tutelage by Verrocchio.

When Leonardo had a question, he asked others for an answer. He found some of his inspiration in ancient works of literature.

There were other inventors working at the same time who created mechanical devices far more advanced than anything Leonardo ever achieved. Why do people never remember these others, and only Leonardo?

Giovanni de Dondi, for example, created an astonishing seven-sided clock called an Astrarium, the most intricate example of medieval technology for centuries. We know Leonardo studied and sketched it, although he never equalled it.

Anyhow, interest in Leonardo seems to be waning in the popular world. I don't believe that most people know very much about Leonardo. Most of what they believe about him seems to come from a certain popular bestseller, much of which is flatly wrong.

I write this long after "The Da Vinci Code" has come and gone. The movie tanked, and the book is largely forgotten.

Thank goodness.

The charm of Leonardo lies not in his paintings, of which there are few, and certainly not in some silly, imaginary "code." His charm lies in the fact that he was a weird and wacky inventor.

He created more inventions than Giovanni de Dondi, and in all areas of technology. He was fascinated by the unknown, and captured by the joy of creativity.

Few people understand the charm of weird and wacky inventions the way Leonardo evidently did. "The Da Vinci Code" barely even mentions Leonardo's wacky inventions, except in a few brief, rather insulting asides that do nothing more than downride a great thinker.

Leonardo himself would be outraged.

It is a shame that Leonardo the man, who was not gay, who did not do "hundreds" of paintings for the Vatican, and who did not have a "lavish lifestyle" the way the "Da Vinci Code" claims, is not more widely known.

Why do people need a bestseller to interest them in someone like Leonardo? Books like "Leonardo's Lost Robots" should be enough.

The one flaw in this otherwise brilliant book is that it is recommended on the author's website to be for "anyone who has read 'The Da Vinci Code.'" I think this is an unbelievably sleezy advertising campaign that is bound to backfire in the end.

Goofy, unintelligent books like "The Da Vinci Code" come and go. Leonardo's weird and wacky inventions, however, last forever. They are always charming, fascinating and beautiful, a rare combination. Something that people would do well to learn from in the future.

- Regards.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonardo's Lost Robots 19 Oct 2009
By Kathleen Lee Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author takes us from his first small baby steps out into the discovery of Leonard's attempt to create a wagon feed robot who will do rudimetry activities (like pour tea). Through Leonard's study of the human body, he discovered we can make a robot. This genius was 400 years beyond the average man and could not be uncovered until we reached the 20th century. -- This is a excellent book that takes you into the world of discovering Leonardo's mind. -- WELL Worth Reading and looking a the diagrams.
5.0 out of 5 stars a must-have .... 28 Oct 2013
By Mark Stephen Warren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For all the tinkerers in the world ..carpenters ... wanna-be inventors .... this is the mainstay from the dude that brought it all.
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