08 February 2006

LEGO Technic Difference Engine

This is amazing -- Andrew Carol has made a Babbage Difference Engine out of Legos. His writeup goes into design detail and his design choices along the way. Highly recommended. Here's an excerpt:

I finally decided to explore making the machine out of identical adder units working together. Eventually a standard unit organization started to develop. Each unit would add the digit below into itself, also being able to output its own value to the unit above in a likewise fashion. Carry-in would be on the right side and carry-out would be to the left so that numbers could be read naturally left-to-right. The decision to build the engine out of interchangeable adder units was the single most important factor in the eventual success of the project.

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