Math Craft Inspiration of the Week: Marble Binary Calculators & Other Mechanical Computers
Since today (11/11/11) is the last 6 digit binary date this century, I thought we should look at some kinetic binary calculators.
Here's a video showing it in action:
Another video with a few more details regarding its operation:
A quick video showing it in motion:
Andrew Carol has built a couple more complicated mechanical computers out of LEGO. He built one based off the Antikythera mechanism, which was a analog computer for calculating various astronomical dates. Andrew provides more details here.
He also built one based off Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, a design for a mechanical computer from the 1800s that could calculate 7th order polynomials to 31 digits of accuracy. More details on the LEGO version can be seen here.
The LEGO Antikythera mechanism:
The LEGO Difference Engine:
What do you think of these mechanical computers? Does anyone want to build the Marble Adding Machine? I know I'd love to see someone try!
Have a great weekend and if you create any math-related art, please share with all of us on the corkboard. If you find something cool on the web please share that as well. I hope to share community content in a post on Monday.