Ancient Lego Robotics

Published by patrick honner on

The antikythera machine is commonly referred to as the “world’s oldest computer”.  Dating back to around 150 B.C., the mechanism was discovered in a shipwreck around 1900, and it has amazed scientists and engineers with its precision craftsmanship.  Recent x-ray analyses of the object helped bolster the conclusion that it was designed to predict eclipses, and probably was able to do so with remarkable accuracy.

What could be more amazing than a 2000 year old computer?  Perhaps this working replica of it, made entirely out of legos.

This video shows the functioning lego replica and gives some of the mathematical background relevant to how the machine operates (apparently the ratio 5/19  is extremely important for calculating the cycles of ellipses) .  Throughout the video, the machine is deconsrtucted and you can see the inner-workings of the various parts.  Truly amazing.

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


Alan · January 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Lego is simply amazing, isn’t it? I’m speechless.

Anthony · June 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I would love to have that distributed as a lego digital designer file, then i could play with it and or build it myself. Oh well, seems ill have to be content with Rubik cube solving lego robots.

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