Leonardo da Vinci Edu-Science - Self-Propelled Cart Assemble Set
The scientific genius of Leonardo da Vinci is brought to life through this articulated model. The invention that inspired this snap-together replica is taken from the pages of Da Vinci's priceless and awe-inspiring notebooks. All models are made of plastic and require no special tools. Manuals are very educational and teach how these inventions have evolved into what they are today.
In 1478, Leonardo Da Vinci rendered a drawing of the first self-propelled cart capable of moving without being pushed or pulled manually. His design of the three-wheeled cart is the precursor to the modern-day automobile and one of the many inventions that Da Vinci created dealing with locomotion and transportation.
The cart was powered by coil springs and also featured programmable steering, which was achieved by arranging wooden blocks between gears at pre-set locations. When the brake was released, the cart propelled forward, and steering was "programmed" to either continue straight or turn using pre-set angles.
Leonardo's design called for springs, which are coiled within barrels similar to pistons, to release their pre-set energy to move the object. The cart's moving parts relied upon levers and gears, similar to those that would animate a primitive robot in Da Vinci's time. Leonardo was quite adept at constructing robots for royalty and court pageants and historians believe the cart was designed as a special attraction for Renaissance festivals, meant to instill wonder and awe in attendees.
Like many of Leonardo's sketches, the self-propelled cart remained on paper throughout Da Vinci's lifetime - we can only speculate that the machine was either considered too dangerous to operate or the inventor did not have adequate materials to build it. Da Vinci's cart was so ahead of its time that its exact workings were not understood until late in the 20th century. In the 1990's scholars determined that the springs in Da Vinci's cart were not for power, but for steering as well so engineers set out to build a working model based on Da Vinci's design. This proved not only that Leonardo's self-propelled cart really worked, but Da Vinci was centuries ahead of his time with another influential invention.