Reverse-engineering ancient tech�with Legos

Antikythera Mechanism in its original state

The Antikythera Mechanism is a splendid, enigmatic outlier. The remains of this geared gizmo were found, broken and encrusted, in an ancient wreck off the Greek Island of Antikythera; it took decades for researchers to figure out the workings of the original device. What they discovered was astounding: a mechanical device from the first or second century BCE contrived to calculate the dates of solar eclipses with great accuracy.

A controversial reconstruction of the mechanism resides in Greece’s National Archaeological Museum. And now, a truly awesome feat: Apple software engineer Andrew Carol has created a version out of Legos. Click through to the interview at Fast Company Design for his explanation of the device, the nature of mechanical computers, and a discussion of the design problems imposed by Lego gearing. Interview, and the film above, by John Pavlus, whose Small Mammal Studio is fast becoming a Gearfuse favorite.

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