Calling all gear-heads!
The stuff he really did is way cooler. From Gizmag, 12 September 2006:
One of the many inventions with which the extraordinary Leonardo da Vinci is credited is the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), a technology that has only just come into common usage 500 years after his foresightedness was committed to parchment.
NuVinci is a new highly adaptable and scalable variation on the CVT theme that looks set to make its mark – developed by Fallbrook Technologies, continuously variable planetary (CVP) NuVinci technology promises a practical and economical CVT for both human-powered and motor-powered vehicles and machines. The NuVinci CVP is applicable to any product that uses a transmission, including bicycles, light electric vehicles, agricultural equipment, automobiles and utility class wind turbines.
[A September 2006 announcement heralded] the first use of the new technology by well-known electric-powered vehicle manufacturer Currie Technologies in hybrid electric bicycles and electric scooters which will combine the NuVinci CVP with the Currie Electro-Drive drive system. The first product will be seen before the end of the year and already looks set to give the pedal-electric hybrid bicycle remarkable new capabilities.