Gallery: Robotic Elephant Water Clock Designed in 1206 AD Recreated in ...


A kinetic energy-powered robotic “elephant clock” designed in the 13th century by Al-Jazari, the Muslim “father of robotics,” now serves as a centerpiece of the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai. According to Atlas Obscura, the robotic clock was commissioned for the 2005 opening of the enormous 3.5-million-square-foot mall. The design is based on drawings and instructions from Al-Jazari’s 1206 AD Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, a manuscript describing 50 machines such as animal and humanoid automata, automatic gates and doors, as well as clocks.

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