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Science & Technology

Robot can solve a Rubik's Cube in 0.38 seconds

By T.K. Randall
March 10, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments

The robot can solve the puzzle obscenely fast. Image Credit: YouTube / Ben Katz
The device is able to solve the puzzle so quickly that to the naked eye it seems almost instantaneous.
Developed by MIT robotics student Ben Katz and software developer Jared Di Carlo, the robot has beaten the previous world record of 0.63 seconds by using a different type of motor.

"We noticed that all of the fast Rubik's Cube solvers were using stepper motors and thought that we could do better if we used better motors," wrote Di Carlo.

The device uses two PlayStation Eye cameras to determine the current configuration of the cube and the individual movements each take a mere 15 milliseconds to complete.
"One counterintuitive trick for getting things to work well was to make the cube really tight," wrote Katz.

"When the cube is loose (like it would be if a person were trying to solve it fast), the outer faces just cam outwards when you try to turn the center faces quickly."

"The machine can definitely go faster, but the turning process is really time consuming since debugging needs to be done with the high speed camera, and mistakes often break the cube."

Source: BBC News | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 6 years ago
Algorithms. Gotta love those. It's fascinating tho, people who solve Rubik for world records are not doing it 'on the fly' so to say but rather by memorizing every possible combination and applying it on the problem which has to be solved. Still, it's good skill but that's exactly how machine operates and people, to do it fast, have to imitate the machine and work as one. Nothing spectacular or 'record' worthy there, it's mere mechanic skill. When i see kid who took Rubik's cube for the first time and solved it relatively fast, now, that would be for Guinness.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Stiff 6 years ago
I used to be able to do these. I think I got it down to about ten minutes which is hella slow compared to the pro's but then again I know a fair few people that have tried over and over and just given up so I'll take that ten minutes as at least some kind of achievement, lol
Comment icon #3 Posted by LV-426 6 years ago
I used to do them the "proper" way... break them apart, and put them back together completed Let's see Mr. Smarty-robot do that!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Still Waters 6 years ago
  Hey! Cheating doesn't count! 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Zamor 6 years ago
My record was 24 seconds, at the time it was just 2 seconds above World record if I remember correctly, but it was just luck how the pieces was placed at the beginning. Usually I did it between 30-60 seconds. Of course it was a "sollution" where you moved the different segments in a special order, it really came down to piece placement in the beginning and how quickly you could get an overwiev of the cube. It was over 35 years ago though so don't think I'm as fast today   Zam
Comment icon #6 Posted by Hankenhunter 6 years ago
I beg to differ. I solved Rubiks cube in .01 seconds on Sept 4, 2003. Twelve guage shotgun at 6 inches. It was immensely satisfying. Next on deck was Tickle me Elmo. I never felt so free before. Hank
Comment icon #7 Posted by DirtyDocMartens 6 years ago
Me too! Pretty much how I've operated ever since.

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