Lego Antikythera Mechanism


 Think you can build cool things in Lego? Ha!

Apple engineer Andrew Carol just wrecked your thinking. He built a working Lego replica of the famous Antikythera Mechanism, created by ancient Greeks in 100 B.C. as a way of predicting astronomical events like eclipses, and probably the oldest known analog computer.

My machine uses about 110 gears, and 7 complete differentials, to do most of what the original one did. But their calendar and ours are completely incompatible, so I also had to add complexity to make the eclipse predictions understandable. My machine has two extra indicators: one for the decade and one for the year. That way, as you turn the crank on the machine, you can read the dials and say "OK, a solar eclipse will happen in April of 2024."


New Scientist reported on a recreation a couple of years ago. Here’s that video…