Babbage Difference Engine In Lego
Posted on March 31, 2008 Comments (1)
Building A Calculating Machine Using Lego Pieces by Andrew Carol
In the mid-19th century, people began to design machines to automate this error prone process. Many machines of various designs were eventually built but, the most advanced and famous of these was not. The Babbage Difference Engine.
Because of engineering issues as well as political and personal conflict the Babbage Difference engines construction had to wait until 1991 when the Science Museum in London decided to build the Babbage Difference Engine No.2 for an exhibit on the history of computers.
Babbage’s design could evaluate 7th order polynomials to 31 digits of accuracy. I set out to build a working Difference Engine using standard LEGO parts which could compute 2nd or 3rd order polynomials to 3 or 4 digits. I have built two generations of Difference Engines and am designing the third version now.