If you are trying to get faster at solving a Rubik’s Cube and need some extra motivation, please don’t watch this.
Software engineers Jay Flatland and Paul Rose have built a machine that can solve Rubik’s Cubes ridiculously fast. Their robot takes just over one second to complete the task.
The duo is currently in the process of applying for a world record. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, given that the current machine record stands at 3.253 seconds (the current human world record is held by Lucas Etter at 4.904 seconds). Indeed, if they are approved, they would crush the previous record.
Without further ado, here is the robot in action:
In the video, the robot solves the infamous puzzle in 1.196 seconds, 1.152 seconds, 1.047 seconds, and at the very end, 1.019 seconds.
It would appear that the robot is not only ridiculously fast, but consistently so. At least in the four solves shown, it always completes the task in between 1 and 1.2 seconds.
The robot is made up of stepper motors, 3D-printed frames, and four USB webcams hooked up to a PC. The cube is scanned to determine its configuration, the information is fed into the Kociemba Rubik’s Cube solving algorithm, and the robot makes the appropriate moves. The Rubik’s Cube being solved has one important modification: four holes drilled into the middle of each of the six sides so that the machine can manipulate it.
The robot can only function when all four cameras have visibility. As such, in preparation for a solving attempt, the camera is covered with a piece of paper, the cube is manually scrambled, and then the robot is given its new task.
Originally called the Magic Cube, the Rubik’s Cube puzzle was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. Over four decades later, and it’s still entertaining millions worldwide.