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Flipper "I Quattro Cavalieri"
Mechanical pinball machine for 4 simultaneous players hand made with Leonardo da Vinci gears
The pinball machine "The Four Knights" is the first pinball machine for four players at the same time, so we can define it as a cooperation pinball machine where each of the players, reaching their own goal (which I will explain shortly), makes sure that, at the end of the game, has contributed to the achievement of the common goal.
Each of the four pinball machines is anchored to the square-shaped central part, so the pinball machine is cross-shaped.
On the playing surface there are, in addition to the knight, two lanes into which the player will throw his ball.
The left lane, by means of an impeller, activates a "lantern" gear that in turn sets in motion many other toothed wheels, which move a counterweight that, at the end of its run, will activate a lever that will make the knight bow in the middle of the pinball machine.
The same lever will also operate another mechanism that will make another counterweight fall.
This counterweight, in turn, will activate a second one but that is located directly on the central part of the pinball machine, the square one. Another counterweight will have the task of releasing a part of the central gear, exactly ¼ of it. When all four gears of the central part have been activated, a circular rack will make the iris open and the "Sword in the Stone" will come out from underneath the square structure.
Throwing the sphere into the right lane will activate, again thanks to the impeller and the lantern gear anchored to it, other cogwheels that will rotate the drive shaft of the mechanical counter. This will allow each player to accumulate a certain score, which at the end of the game, when the sword will be revealed from the central part, the player who will have kept the highest score will have the right to extract "The Sword in the Stone".
The pinball machine is made of 7000 pieces of wood and 5000 screws and has a size of 5 meters x 5 meters.
This pinball machine participated in the 2020 edition of Italia's Got Talent.
La Bottega delle Idee - May
"Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?" Leonardo Da Vinci
It was a visit to the Leonardiano Museum in Vinci that inspired me to make my first prototypes. The genius of Leonardo allowed him to create incredible feats of engineering, all achieved without any of today's technology.
Leonardo's lantern gear was the inspiration behind the "The Elastic Machine F=kδ"
Several months after the trip to Vinci, I visited a Renaissance market where I saw a wooden pinball machine. Although it was quite basic, the children playing with it were having a great time. I wondered whether Leonardo would have been able to make one, but it probably would never have occured to him as the first pinball machine was invented in 1935 by the American company, Gottlieb.
I imagined what it would have been like to like in Leonardo's time, and thought about what sort of pinball machine he might have invented, using Leonardian gears and the rules of physics: levers, kinetic energy and gravity. After many attempts, the 'Flipper 7° Quadrante' was born. After its succes, I decided to make another one, that was more 'medieval' than the first. As I live in a small Rennaisance village, which has it's own castle, I decided to use that as a model so the 'Flipper il Castello' took shape.
After this, I happened to spot a picture of St George and the Dragon, so my imagination led to to include a dragon in my next pinball machine. The "Flipper il Drago" works according to a system of levels, pulleys and weights, inspired by Leonardo's writings.
As well as being passionate about Leonardo's machines, I'm also interested in the Medieval period and a king and his loyal knights were the inspiration for 'La Catapulta' game.
Watching the film "The First Knight" aroused my fantasy and so I set to work on the construction of a new game "The Joust of 7" that slowly came to life like all the others!
The last work I did started from the idea that there were more players and then I made the pinball "The 4 Knights", a game where four players must join forces to get together to the same goal.
All my games are handmade and built with recycled wood, mainly pine and beech. Each piece that makes up the game, is crafted with care, and made in wood to make it more durable and able to withstand humidity, dust etc.
Each game must be treated with care, because, as the saying goes, 'wood lives until its burnt', almost as if it possesses a soul. To ensure that each game lives as long as possible, you have to treat it with respect.
As I'm an eternal dreamer, every time I see a project come to live, I imagine how much Leonardo himself would have enjoyed playing with it...and sometimes I hear him laughing next to me.