Leonardo Builds a Programmable Mechanical Automaton

1478
<p>The original drawing of Leonardo's&nbsp;<em>self-propelled cart, </em>frompage 812 recto of the <em>Codex Atlanticus.</em></p>

The original drawing of Leonardo's self-propelled cart, frompage 812 recto of the Codex Atlanticus.

In 1478, while under the patronage of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci designed a programmable, mechanical automaton.

Leonardo's drawing for this invention was misunderstood until 1975 when Leonardo scholar Carlo Pedretti recognized that Leonardo's so-called automobile in the Codex Atlanticus is an automaton. The automaton  featured front wheel drive and rack and pinion control.

Timeline Themes