Browse Definitions:
Definition

Leonardo da Vinci's car

Da Vinci's car is a vehicle developed from the Renaissance artist/engineer/architect's drawings. The car has a boxy shape and resembles a wagon. It has three wheels. The full-scale model measures 5 feet by 5 feet, 6 inches. Sometimes called the clockwork car because it's propelled by springs, da Vinci's car was designed as a robot, running according to a pre-set course and traveling a few meters at a time. The plans include an alternative steering column, although there is no driver's seat. Leonardo's drawings, rendered around 1478, illustrate the first known concept for a self-propelled vehicle as well as the first one with programmable steering.

According to Professor Carlo Pedretti, a leading Leonardo expert, the inventor probably intended to use his creation to cause a sensation at events in the royal court. Leonardo is perhaps most famous as the painter of the Mona Lisa but was a prolific inventor. His designs included plans for a bicycle, a tank, a robot, a submarine and several different flying machines, including a helicopter.

Leonardo's plans for the vehicle were discovered in 1905 by Girolamo Calvi, an Italian academic and da Vinci studies pioneer. Calvi called the design "Leonardo's Fiat." Since that time, scholars have theorized about how the car might work. In 1997, Professor Pedretti identified coiled springs, hidden underneath the car in drums, as its means of propulsion. Pedretti teamed with American robotics expert Mark Rosheim and set to work creating models of the car.

In 2004, the Museum of History and Science in Florence, Italy mounted an exhibition of three models of Leonardo's car. The exhibit included copies of the original drawings and an interactive simulation. Several viewers commented on the vehicle's resemblance to NASA's "Spirit," a space vehicle used on Mars.

This was last updated in March 2009

Continue Reading About Leonardo da Vinci's car

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

SearchSecurity

  • computer worm

    A computer worm is a type of malicious software program whose primary function is to infect other computers while remaining ...

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • non-volatile memory (NVM)

    Non-volatile memory (NVMe) is a semiconductor technology that does not require a continuous power supply to retain the data or ...

  • hybrid hard drive (HHD)

    A hybrid hard drive (HHD), sometimes known as a solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD), is a mass storage device that combines a ...

  • USB flash drive

    A USB flash drive -- also known as a stick, thumb or pen drive -- is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close