Da Vinci’s Robot Drawings

I have begun work on Robotics 2008. That is the working title of the robot book I’m writing. It looks like there will be two main parts of the book. The first part will describe the current state of the art. This section will be broken down by chapters that each focus on a specific vertical area, e.g. “Industrial Robots”

The second part will focus on building your own robot. A few days ago I wrote about Phidgets.com and that by using their products it is possible for someone without any electronics background to experiment with robotics.  This section of the book will follow that model as much as possible. In other words, it is not going to be a book that attempts to teach electronics, or mechanics, or writing control code. At least I will try to avoid that as much as is possible. I had mentioned in a previous post that one of the first sections of this book that I would write would be about stepper motors. Originally I envisioned this section as an introductory lesson on stepper motor theory. That has changed now and I am not going to do that at all. I will be doing a chapter on stepper motors, but will treat them as  Black Boxes. It will focus on what they do, not on the science of how they do it. It will describe the different types and sizes available. How to select the right one for a particular task, and how to hook them up. We will give examples using Phidgets or other solder-less solutions.

I will be writing the second part of the book first. This is mostly because the first part is changing so rapidly, i.e. there are new robot products hitting the market daily. It makes sense to write that part last and have it a current as possible when the book is released. The second reason is that I will need to get some photos of some of the products we will be talking about and permission to use them. For example the easiest way for me to get photos of industrial robots it to ask the manufacturer for them. That could take some time.

Anyway, what does all this have to do with Leonardo da Vinci. In starting to work on the book I was writing about where robots came from, how long people have thought about robots, etc. Well, Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings reveal that he had thought about building robots.

I ordered a book from Italy today entitled “da Vinci’s Robots”, and since this book does not seem to be available in the U.S. I also inquired with the publisher about selling copies on the Roslyn-Robot.com web site.

They also make a kit, which is the book and what appears to be cardboard parts, so that you can turn da Vinci’s drawings into 3D models

The book was a bit pricey, 34 euros, which is about $50 U.S., but I think european books are of a higher quality than American books. We’ll see.
Da Vinci Robot

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