Towards the end of his life, Leonardo da Vinci was given permission to dissect human cadavers for scientific research at Santa Maria Nuova. The Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova (Ospedale di Santa Maria Nuova) is the oldest hospital still active in Florence, Italy. It was these very studies which laid the ground work for future anatomy documents and literature for educating the surgeons of the world, as well as Leonardo's designs for the world's first robot.
In 2000, the FDA approved a robotic surgical system, inspired by and named after Leonardo's work. Intuitive Surgical states: "...His study of human anatomy eventually led to the design of the first known robot in history. This design, which has come to be known as "Leonardo's Robot," was probably made around the year 1495 but was rediscovered in the 1950s. da Vinci was intrigued by mechanics and automation. He developed a number of mannequins including a mechanical knight."
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