2,000-Year Old Computer Recreated In LEGO

December 16, 2010


Apple software engineer Andrew Carol (woman's first name for a last name FTW!) went and built a completely functional Antikythera Mechanism out of LEGO. What the hell's an Antikythera Mechanism? *GW casts copy/paste and goes to toast some Eggos*

The Antikythera Mechanism, is, allegedly, the oldest version of a scientific computer. The Greeks, who used to be so clever that they never endured too much of a financial crisis, built it around 100 B.C.

Somehow, it disappeared into history's cracks, until it was unearthed from a shipwreck in 1901. It took imperfect humans another 100 years to work out that its purpose was to mechanically track the bodies that are in outer space in order to anticipate events up there that might affect life down here.

Carol used 1,500 Lego Technic parts and 30 days to put together the 110 gears and other pieces of the re-creation.

The two wings of Carol's machine, each with four gearboxes, manage to make the same calculations as the original mechanism. Each gearbox makes one mathematical calculation.

It's funny how they call Andrew by his last name in the article and it makes it sound like he's a lady. Also, that falsetto of his. But I'm not here to talk about girly-men, I'm here to talk about 2,000-year old gearboxes. Which -- if the ancient Greeks could make gearboxes, then they must have had cars. The history books are wrong! THIS. CHANGES. EVERYTHING. But mostly just history books.

Hit the jump for a worthwhile video of the device in action.

Apple engineer re-creates ancient computer with Legos [cnet]
Watch an Apple Engineer Recreate a 2,000-Year-Old Computer Using Legos [fastcodesign]

Thanks to big jerm, Kristina, Lewis, Wendy, Aristotle, Mr. Sausage, meeotch, Rev Dr Dom, and Ludd, who're all convinced they had flying cars in Atlantis. I believe it.

  • Robin Manford

    The poke at the Greeks for their financial crisis was kinda mean. Other than that, neat!

  • zid

    Um..what's the big deal about the dudes last name? It's kind of sexist the way you make fun of him for having a feminine last name. It's not really that funny.

  • Pants_Up__Dont_Loot

    Roofurry....isn't that a brand name of douche? HA!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Previous Post
Next Post