eonardo da Vinci could have been the greatest inventor in history, only that he had an almost irresistible effect on the technology of his day. He left behind sketches and charts of his inventions, but they never materialized, either because of the loss of interest or because of the high costs. Another aspect for which they have not been realized so far is that the materials and instruments of the XV-XVI centuries were not so efficient.
Today, society is grateful for these inventions as without them many patterns, designs, and simple modern technologies may have not been created for inspiration or used in Leonardo’s inventions. So let’s take a look at these inventions.
1. The parachute
Da Vinci, who was fascinated by the idea of human flight, designed the parachute as a way for people to float gracefully in the air. Its pyramid-shaped frame was draped with a material. As da Vinci wrote in his notebooks, his creation would allow a man to throw himself from any height without suffering any physical trauma. The materialization of the da Vinci sketches of the 21st century showed that the illustrious inventor was entitled to believe in his creation.
The problem at the time was that the materials available were not very good at caping in the air in order to create air resistance which would slow down the user enough in order to not cause any injuries upon landing. At the same time the size, as well as the shape of the parachute, was not quite the most efficient from an aerodynamic perspective.
2. The Ornithopter
Da Vinci was fascinated by birds. He followed them, sketched them and borrowed ideas from them for his inventions. One of the results of this fascination was the ornithopter, a device designed by the da Vinci System, which theoretically would have allowed humans to ascend through the air like birds. While the da Vinci parachute would have allowed a human being to jump off a rock, without being injured, the ornithopter was actually a way for people to rise from the ground level into the air.
On paper, the machine looks much more birdlike (or batlike) than today’s airplanes. This invention demonstrates Leonardo’s sound aerodynamic knowledge. Once again the main problem was not the design but the materials which were not sturdy enough to maintain the weight of a person whilst being light enough to allow the possibility of flight.
3. The Machine Gun
Da Vinci’s submachine gun, or ’33 barrel-organ, “was not a machine gun in the modern sense. It couldn’t fire multiple bullets quickly from a single barrel. It could, however, deliver salvo using fire The weapon behind the machine gun is simple. Da Vinci proposed mounting 11 carbines side by side on a rectangular plate, then attached three such. plates together in a triangular arrangement.
Although da Vinci has repeatedly pointed out in his notebooks he hated war and the idea of creating killing machines like this, he needed money to maintain himself and it was easy. to convince his wealthy owners that such machines would help them defeat their enemies, and his war machines were practically never built.
4. The Humanoid Robot
Da Vinci’s robotic knight was the first humanoid robot, the true 3PO of the Renaissance. Da Vinci was fascinated by human anatomy and spent long hours digging up corpses to figure out how the human body works. This gave him an understanding of how muscles and bones work. He reasoned that the same principles can be applied to a car.
Unlike most of his inventions, Leonard seems to have actually built the robotic knight, although he has was mainly used for entertainment at parties given by his wealthy patron, Lodovico Sforza. Da Vinci’s robot did not survive and no one knows exactly what he was capable of doing, but it seems he could walk, sit down and even move his jaw. The knight’s sketches were later used by NASA.
5. The Diver Costume
While living in Venice in the fifteenth century, da Vinci invented an exaggerated idea to repel invading ships: He sent men to the bottom of the harbor in dive suits to cut holes in the bodies of enemy ships. Da Vinci would have built the breathing hose connected to an air-floating bell, wearing glass goggles attached to the masks, which would help them see underwater. In another version of the concept, divers would have blown wine bladders filled with air. In both embodiments, men would carry a bottle of urine in it, so that they would remain underwater for a longer period of time.
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