This year marks exactly 500 years since the death of the great inventor and creator Leonardo da Vinci. In honor of this event, Italian engineers created a device that da Vinci himself did not have time to implement. We are talking about a mechanical toy in the form of a huge lion, which he was commissioned to develop by Pope Leo X himself as a gift to the French king François I.
Everything in this story is saturated with symbolism - dates, names, and countries. Only sketches have survived to this day, not even the drawings of da Vinci himself, so the task of designing and creating a lion from authentic materials was not an easy one. But the descendants of the medieval genius coped, and today the mechanical lion is exhibited at the Italian Institute of Culture in Paris. The gift nevertheless reached its destination, even though half a millennium has passed, and there is no one to give it.
The lion is about 3 m long, and its height reaches 2 m. It is made of wood, has metal springs for storing energy and rope transmissions for activating the mechanisms of the paws and muzzle. The lion can move, imitating the movement of its paws, and lay flowers from its mouth on the ground - according to the idea of the great Leonardo, this would look like a sign of respect for the king.
One of Da Vinci's original sketches: the prototype of the modern tank