Today is Leonardo Da Vinci's birthday - he would be 563 years old and probably one of the coolest dudes around. Da Vinci loved experimenting and while many of us know him for his art, like the Mona Lisa, he was an extraordinary inventor who some say was also a proto-computer geek.
In a 1996 article in the journal Achademia Leonardi Vinci, historical evidence was presented that da Vinci had designed - and perhaps built - automata. The author pointed to da Vinci's so-called Robot Knight, a cable-and-pulley-driven artificial man. Citing drawings found decades earlier, the knight figure "sat up, waved its arms, moved its head via a flexible neck, and opened and closed its anatomically correct jaw - possibly emitting sound while accompanied by automated musical instruments such as drums."