The LEGO Difference Engine

This is what I make with LEGOs. Spaceships are my specialty.

This is what Apple software engineer Andrew Carol makes with LEGOs:

It’s a Babbage Difference Engine, a working model of a mid-19th century machine designed to “evaluate polynomials of the form Ax^2 + Bx + C for x=0, 1, 2, …n with 3 digit results.” I wish I understood what that meant, because whatever it is, this LEGO model actually does it. It’s a mechanical calculator. You crank it and make actual mathematical calculations.

Here’s a video of the engine in action.

You know what happens if you crank my LEGO spaceships? They fall apart. But you can make “pio! pio!” noises to simulate the sweet laser gun action.


Comments read comments(2)
post a comment

Pingback: Tyler Neylon and the 50-Lego Project - Dadequate

Shawn Smucker

posted June 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Ah, Legos. My 7yo son just saved up his meager allowance and odd-job money and made his first online purchase – the Lego police station. His birthday is right around the corner, burdened down a by a wish-list of strictly Lego items.

And another generation of Lego enthusiasts is born.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Dadequate. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Letting Go With Guy Finley Happy Blogging!!! ...

posted 9:17:19am Jul. 10, 2012 | read full post »

Closing the Door on Dadequate
As of this post I'm shutting down my Dadequate blog. It's been less than half a year since my first post here, but it's time to move along to other projects. Nothing dramatic -- I'm not quitting fatherhood or anything. But I've had a really ...

posted 5:20:44pm Dec. 01, 2011 | read full post »

The Crazy Physics of Starling Flight
Sorry for the paucity of posts this week and last. I've been knee-deep in my next book and am facing a self-imposed deadline. In the meantime, check out this video of a flock of starlings. The physics of bird behavior in flocks is absolutely ...

posted 10:08:18am Nov. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Robot Riding a Bicycle
Behold: a video of a robot riding a bicycle. In case that didn't register, I will say it again: A ROBOT RIDING A BICYCLE. What will they do next? Steal our jobs? Mow our lawns? Defeat Ken Jennings on Jeopardy? Start preparing your children ...

posted 9:49:44am Nov. 03, 2011 | read full post »

The great thing about the persistently growing zombie fad is that anyone -- at any point during their day, regardless of their activity -- can be turned into a zombie and therefore find themselves stuck in that outfit for the rest of their ...

posted 4:56:06pm Oct. 31, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.