Taccola paid special attention to machines operated by human and animal power. Francesco di Giorgio carried out a detailed analysis of the mill. Francesco's mills feature highly complex systems for transmitting motion.
Living energy sources
The basic energy sources are humans and animals. Human power is used for those operations that require continuous variations in velocity, non-programmable stops, and high precision.
Francesco designed gigantic carriages fitted with unusually complex systems for transmitting motion, and operated by human power. The carriages were intended to create special effects in court festivities and ceremonies. They could also be used to bring soldiers safely up to the foot of enemy walls.
For the Sienese engineers, the main natural source of energy was water. However, they also repeatedly investigated the possibility of harnessing wind and steam.
Taccola shows a remarkable interest in tide mills, of both the horizontal- and vertical-wheel variety.
Taccola and Francesco designed floating mills. Francesco undertook a methodical analysis of the hydraulic engines on mills, accompanied by valuable notes.