The World’s Oldest Computer Made From LEGO

LEGO is big in our house.  Pretty much everyone, including the kids, likes building with it.  My oldest has made some pretty impressive models using LEGO bricks.  I’ll admit, however, that none are anywhere near as impressive as Andrew Carol’s functional model of the Antikythera mechanism.

In case you’re scratching your head and wondering what the Antikythera mechanism actually is, don’t feel too bad — it was discovered around 1900 and it wasn’t until the 1950s that anyone had any idea of what it might be and it wasn’t until the 1990s and beyond that researchers really pinned down was it is.  It turns out that the Antikythera mechanism is an ancient computer used for calculating planetary, lunar, and solar positions.  Predicting eclipses was, it seems, part of its functionality.

The Antikythera mechanism dates back to about 100BC and was found at the dawn of the 20th century on a shipwreck near Greece.  Scientists have been studying it to determine its function and make up and now they have a new tool to help them out — a working model made from LEGO.

So now LEGO master Andrew Carol has recreated the world’s oldest computer using more than 1500 LEGO bricks and gears.  Check out this awesome video that explains how it works.

Photo by Marsyas

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