Mario Taddei

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Mario Taddei
Born (1972-09-28)September 28, 1972
Bologna, Italy
Nationality Italian
Occupation L3's technical director and chief researcher
Known for Leonardo da Vinci scholar
Children 1

Mario Taddei (born September 28, 1972) is an Italian academic, and technical director and chief researcher at the Italian study center Leonardo3 in Milan. He is an expert in multimedia and edutainment for museums, a Leonardo da Vinci devotee and scholar, and an expert in the codexes and machines of da Vinci and ancient books of technology.


Born in Bologna, Italy, Taddei graduated in Industrial Design, Politecnico di Milano. He has headed many projects about innovative installations for museums. He has been studying da Vinci for years and has coauthored new discoveries. He is Leonardo3's ( technical director and one of its chief researchers.

In 2008, he studied for the first time in depth The Book of Secrets (Kitab al-Asrar) by the 1000 CE Arabic engineer and scientist Ibn Khalaf al-Muradi. The complete and unique study of all The Book of Secrets, all his machines and the pages are shown in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.

He is the author of many books. His book "Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed" was translated into 20 languages.


The robot of Leonardo[edit]

Building the robot of Leonardo da Vinci in the Leonardo3lab.

Among the vast number of projects of Leonardo, there is a “mechanical knight” [1] that has entered into the common imagination. In 1957 Carlo Pedretti was the first person to discover it, hidden amongst da Vinci’s countless designs. The mechanical knight was again mentioned in 1974, in the Codex Madrid edited by Ladislao Reti. Nevertheless, there was no attempt to reconstruct it until 1996. It was then that Mark Rosheim published an independent study of the robot, followed by a joint enterprise with the Florence Institute and Museum of the History of Science which mounted an exhibition with an entire section dedicated to Rosheim’s research on the subject. However, it was only in 2002 that Rosheim built a complete physical model for a BBC documentary. Since then, many exhibitions and museums of da Vinci’s models have included a soldier on wheels labeled, “Leonardo’s robot”.

Studies on the subject mention that manuscripts relating to Leonardo’s idea for the robot are in the Codex Atlanticus, specifically folio 579r. Mario Taddei's further research has indicated folios 1077r, 1021r and 1021v as possible sources for the mechanisms of this mysterious humanoid robot.

In the 2007 Mario Taddei made a new research on the original documents of Leonardo finding new pieces of information to build a new model of the soldier robot, correctly related to the drawings of Leonardo. This robot was designed just for defensive purpose, not for war or theater and his movement are related to the arms that move right and left with a rope. The Model is shown in exhibition around the world and the work of research is published in the "Leonardo da Vinci's robots" book.


  • Da Vinci's Lost Code - Discovery Channel - 2006.
  • Da Vinci Code - NBC Nightly NEWS - 2006 video.
The rebuilt copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus as it was in the 1600s, with all the 1200 manuscripts collected by Pompeo Leoni. Made by Mario Taddei for museum purposes.



  1. ^ Rosheim, Mark E. (2006). Leonardo's lost robot. Berlin: Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-28440-6. 

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