Harnessing energy is a key aspect of all technological systems. Taccola paid special attention to machines operated by human and animal power. His mill designs include many examples of tide mills and floating mills.
Francesco di Giorgio carried out a detailed analysis of the mill, describing no fewer than 58 kinds, including waterwheel mills, recirculation mills, windmills, weight-driven mills, human-powered mills, and animal-powered mills. Francesco's mills feature highly complex systems for transmitting motion.
Both Taccola and Francesco illustrate equipment that uses the crank-and-rod system.