Carlo Pedretti was the first to discover the tell-tale fragments of Leonardo’s Robot Knight in the Codex Atlanticus.
My effort to interpret and reconstruct Leonardo’s Knight began with my book
and would lead me on an odyssey around the world. It would take me three generations to get it right, finally coming to me in, of all places, my local gym. The armored Robot Knight sat up; opened its arms and closed them, perhaps in a grabbing motion; moved its head via a flexible neck; and opened its visor, perhaps to reveal a frightening physiognomy. Fabricated of wood, brass or bronze and leather, it was cable operated and may have been built for a grotto similar to those built by Salomon de Caus (1576–1626)
perhaps with the accompaniment of automated musical instruments.