No one’s going to mistake this cartoony penguin for the real thing, but it’s the clever engineering by the Lego masters at JK Brickworks—not its realism—that makes this creation a must-see both inside and out.

As the little penguin spins in circles on the slippery iceberg, inside it’s powered by a device called the Trammel of Archimedes that’s often credited to the great Greek mathematician, physicist, and inventor. The device consists of two sliding shuttles moving perpendicular to each other that are connected at fixed by points by a cross-beam.

Illustration for article titled An Ancient Archimedes Device Powers this Graceful Spinning Lego Penguin

The resulting motion of the two shuttles sliding back and forth is a perfect elliptical path traced by the cross-beam, and that’s where the little Lego penguin remains perched as it slides around in circles. After over 2,000 years, we finally have a good use for one of Archimedes creations. [JK Brickworks]


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