Leonardo Da Vinci made sketches of a humanoid robot using metal linkages and a lot of mechanical gears. It was possibly capable of sitting up, waving its arms, flexing its neck, moving its neck, and moving an anatomically correct jaw and was powered by falling weights.

It would not have been possessed of any intelligence, and would really have fallen under the category of Automaton although it was bolder than any that had come before it.

This was done in around 1495, before he painted The Last Supper. Some even say he may have built it. The design notes for the robot appear in sketchbooks that were rediscovered in the 1950s. It is considered the first known design for a robot.

It was in the mould of a human scale armoured knight. Its shell was an authentic German-Italian armour from the late 15th century.

It is theorised that he may have had inspiration from Greek texts. Al Jazari an earlier Arabic inventor, had similar intentions.

Leonardo's Robot Links