To even begin to consider Leonardo Da Vinci invention, you have to also look at what else this one man accomplished. Leonardo is considered to be “The Renaissance Man.” He was an architect, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, inventor, geometer, musician and painter.

Leonardo's invention came from the fact that he was infinitely curious. Leonardo kept notebooks throughout his life, in which he wrote daily. He wrote about his sketches, inventions, architecture, elements of mechanics, painting ideas, human anatomy, grocery lists and even people that owed him money. Showing his curiosity, Leonardo often made lists of things he wanted to learn more about, and he usually started these lists with the phrase, "Tell me."

It is purported that Leonardo had over 13,000 pages of notes by the end of his life - some of course outlining his many inventions. Leonardo Da Vinci invention covered many different fields - from military applications to flying machines, from “robots” to clocks to automobiles. Keeping such vast records of his inventions has helped us find them - and also serves to show that a “true inventor” keeps a journal of his ideas (like I have pointed out on other pages - hint, hint).

Leonardo's inventions were pretty safe in his notebooks in that they were written in mirror image - that is, right to left and backwards. Some say the pages were written this way to keep them secret - but others say that it was just easier for leonardo to write - since he was left-handed (yay) and writing that way didn’t smear the ink, and the quill pen was easier to pull than to push.

Here are some examples of Leonardo Da Vinci invention - comparing them to modern counterparts:

Leonardo - the first Roboticist?

A lot of Leonardo Da Vinci invention does not work when people try to work off of his notes. Roboticist Mark Rosheim has spoken of his theory that Leonardo’s sketch of a spring driven cart was actually a robot. Rosheim built a model according to Leonardo’s sketch - and it worked.

Meet the modern version of a similar robot - the iRobot Roomba Discovery, a robotic vacuum cleaner.

Roomba Scheduler

Roomba Scheduler

The Roomba Scheduler robotic vac makes quick work of minor cleanups and daily floor maintenance, and lets you schedule to clean at preset times of your choosing.

Camera obscura

"...Here the figures, here the colors, here all the images of every part of the universe are contracted to a point. O what a point is so marvelous!"

- Leonardo da Vinci

In 1490, da Vinci wrote the first detailed description of the camera obscura in his “Atlantic Codex,” a 1,286 page collection of drawings and writings. The principle of camera obscura is simple. You punch a pinhole in one end of a dark box and put a piece of light-sensitive material inside on the other end and, voilà, you have a photograph. Here is a later version of the Leonardo Da Vinci invention - Camera Obscura:

Wouldn’t Leonardo be surprised by the modern equivalent?

The Casio Credit Card Digicam 10.0 mp

Da Vinci's "Clock at Chiaravalle" has dials for minutes, hours and moon phases. Remember - this was in the 1400’s.

And now:

Phillips/Nike MP3 player which tracks time, distance and pace:

Designed for keeping you rocking to the beat during jogging or other exercise routines, the Nike/Philips PSA220 digital audio player features everything you need to keep you motivated and in motion.

  • It has a 256 MB internal flash memory, which can store up to four hours of CD-quality MP3 files or eight hours of CD-quality WMA.

  • Additionally, it features audible feedback to let you hear time, distance, and pace stats during your workout.

  • Using a wireless speed and distance sensor, data is stored on the player and later can be uploaded to the nikerunning.com online training log (via a wireless Bluetooth connection between the player and your PC or Mac).

The next Leonardo Da Vinci invention to be featured is an odometer. Da Vinci's odometer was meant to track how far a wagon traveled by collecting balls or stones which fell into a box with each revolution of a wheel (I think):

The 21st Century version:

Timex GPS tracker:

  • Using the very latest in digital technology, the Bodylink System is a network of up to 4 devices worn on the body that act together as a single information and sport monitoring system. The Timex Ironman Triathlon Bodylink Performance Monitor is the essential element to the Bodylink System by providing real-time workout data. It teams with the Timex Digital Heart Rate Sensor and the Timex Speed + Distance Sensor to simultaneously provide comprehensive performance feedback.
  • Speed + Distance Sensor works with highly accurate GPS satellite tracking system
  • Includes adjustable arm strap and belt clip
  • Continuous odometer
  • English, metric or nautical units
  • Flying machines

    "For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."

    - Leonardo da Vinci

    Leonardo was fascinated with flight. He watched the birds in flight and made many drawings of flapping wings that attached to a man. He also had drawings of a helicopter and this particular flying machine:

    If you have been through this site you know of one of the newest air machines - one that fits well with Leonardo’s thoughts of flight:

    This may be a stretch. This Leonardo Da Vinci invention was built to measure the expansion and pressure of steam:

    His fellow Italians have taken the study of steam to new levels when they developed the capuccino/expresso machine - with steam to make the frothed milk used to soften the caffeine fixes of the multitudes:

    Capuccino machine:

    • 1,250-watt superautomatic espresso machine with stainless-steel housing and backlit digital display
    • 1-touch-button technology; adjustable conical burr grinder and coffee strength; 3 programmable brew buttons
    • 15-bar pump; 67-ounce removable water tank; 10-ounce bean hopper; removable brew group
    • Rapid Steam technology; Pannarello steam wand; dual-spout dispensing head; hot-water nozzle
    • Measures 11-1/4 by 14-1/4 by 16-3/4 inches; 1-year warranty

    Can you picture a man from Tuscany interested in SCUBA? This Leonardo DA Vinci invention is just that:

    And of course - today’s counterpart:

    Henderson 1-MM Mens Microprene One Piece Jumpsuit, Black/Blue

    The above examples of Leonardo Da Vinci invention only scrape the surface of Leonardo’s accomplishments. He was a brilliant man - probably one of the most brilliant in history - and probably topping his American counterpart - Benjamin Franklin.

    Examples of his military inventions and other examples of Leonardo Da Vinci invention are available on a site displaying works that are on display at a museum dedicated to the works of Leonardo in Italy. This museum site discusses where Leonardo came from, some history and geography, and displays models of Leonardo Da Vinci invention compared to his drawings of the same invention. If you have any curiosity - take a tour here: