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Published on Nov 3, 2009
Al-Jazarī (1136-1206), was a prominent medieval polymath: an scholar, inventor, mechanical engineer, craftsman, artist, mathematician and astronomer from Diyarbakır, Turkey, who lived during the Middle Ages.
He is best known for writing the "Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices" in 1206, where he described fifty mechanical devices along with instructions on how to construct them.
Al-Jazari pioneered advances in robotics and is credited with inventing the camshaft, the crankshaft and segmental gearing - which are present in almost every machine today.