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Day December 12, 2010

Apple engineer builds working replica of the Antikythera mechanism using LEGO Technic

Notwithstanding my passion for all things digital and electronic, I have always been fascinated by the intricacies and complexities of purely mechanical devices such as clocks and watches. The Antikythera mechanism, however, takes the cake.

Built sometime between 150-100 BCE and discovered in a wreckage off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1900, the Antikythera mechanism is an ancient device designed to calculate astronomical positions precisely and is the world’s oldest known analog computer.

Over 2000 years after its invention, Apple software engineer Andrew Carol has built a fully functional LEGO Technic replica of the mechanism. See how it works in the video below and hit the source link for an interview with Carol himself.

I’m not sure what is more astonishing: that such a sophisticated device existed two millennia ago or that we can reconstruct the Antikythera mechanism using a child’s toy today.

Source: FastCoDesign via SlashGear