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DaVinci's Engineering Booboo

  1. Dec 3, 2005 #1
    [​IMG]
    Guys are supposed to sit inside this "tank" and crank the handles to make it go. But take a good look at how he has positioned the gears to the wheels (in the picture on the left). The front and rear wheels are going to turn in opposite directions.
    This picture gets reproduced in most books on Leonardo, and no one seems to catch this funny mistake.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2005 #2

    hypnagogue

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    They pointed this engineering gaffe out on a program that aired on the Science Channel a bit back. They actually built this machine to Leonardo's specifications, and sure enough, it didn't work. Then they corrected the obvious error and it managed to run fairly well.

    They actually posited that DaVinci put in this blunder on purpose, in order to foil anyone who might steal his designs. I believe they mentioned that this was not the only design that had such a simple, glaring mistake, and of course DaVinci was a smart guy, so I think the idea holds some water.
     
  4. Dec 3, 2005 #3
    I wonder why they bothered to build it according to the drawing. You can look at it and know it won't work.
    I sincerely doubt he did it on purpose. He was smart, but so was sock-forgetting Einstein. This is probably a preliminary sketch and he just got lost in the details. And really; this mistake wouldn't prevent anyone who stole the idea from easily fixing the problem. I think the "on purpose" explanation is his hard-core fans trying to rationalize him spacing out now and then.
    I haven't run across any mistakes in any other of his drawings. The real problem with this tank, I think, is that, the gearing corrected, the guys cranking it wouldn't be strong enough to move it over anything but the smoothest terrain. There's also too little clearance at the bottom. I think it would have bogged down fast on a real battlefield.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2005 #4

    It lacks traction with regular wooden wheels. Modern-style treads would probably be the best solution, although others might work.
     
  6. Dec 3, 2005 #5
    I think it might be fine for traction on more or less level cobblestone, but they'd be screwed once they got into a field.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2005 #6

    ___

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    what is this machine supposed to do, actually?
     
  8. Dec 3, 2005 #7

    Mk

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    Make people think they saw aliens.
     
  9. Dec 3, 2005 #8
    It's like a turtle. The enemy just sends over two guys with a lever, and it's upside-down trying to pedal through the air. Rather useless imho.
     
  10. Dec 3, 2005 #9

    FredGarvin

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    It was Leonardo's version of a tank. I can't imagine that this wasn't done on purpose. But then again, even the best have "one of those days." I am impressed that he was thinking that far ahead of his time.
     
  11. Dec 3, 2005 #10
    In the sketch over on the right, with the lid on, it looks like he's got rifle barrels sticking out all round, but that's a guess. It is something like a tank, in that the men inside are protected as they go into enemy lines, but I'm not sure what was supposed to happen once they got there.
     
  12. Dec 3, 2005 #11

    ___

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    so it's basically a war-horse...
    i had seen the dust and stones being thrown away but couldnt think its purpose...(scaring penguins? cleaning the road?)
     
  13. Dec 3, 2005 #12

    Danger

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    Do you prefer to be called 'Blank', or 'Mr. Line'?
     
  14. Dec 3, 2005 #13

    ___

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    Blank added with man would be much better. well, if u r feeling lazy to type, anything that u like and is short enough.
    (it is actually 3 underscores ___ :biggrin:)
     
  15. Dec 3, 2005 #14

    Danger

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    Right, then... Blank Man it is. Welcome aboard.
     
  16. Dec 3, 2005 #15
    I didn't think of that. The Great Penguin Infestation that crippled Florence in 1474 may, indeed, have inspired this contraption.
     
  17. Dec 3, 2005 #16

    ___

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    thank you, but i have been here before:rofl: , i just couldnt activate my previous account:cry: . i miss wolram and arildno's talks and astronuc's PMs.:cry:
     
  18. Dec 3, 2005 #17
    No glad-handing in my thread please.

    Blank-man be warned: Danger is running for public office.
     
  19. Dec 3, 2005 #18

    Danger

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    Sorry, Zoob. I forgot where I was. :blushing:

    So who were you the last time around?
     
  20. Dec 3, 2005 #19

    ___

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    Ssshhh...:smile::biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2005
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