The Rubik’s cube was invented in 1974 and since then 350 million pieces have been sold all over the world if the number is not mistaken. The eponymous puzzle was invented by the Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. There are even Rubik’s cube solving competitions. Here is a video of someone called Lucas Etter who broke a record by solving the puzzle in less than five seconds in November 2015.
But this post is not about human beings solving the Rubik’s cube puzzle. It’s about a robot solving the puzzle in the record time. In about 1.019 seconds to be precise. First see the video.
Software engineers Jay Flatland and Paul Rose have built this robot and they are already in the process of applying for the record to be recognized. Most probably they will be breaking the record because the last robotic machine that solved the Rubik’s cube puzzle did it in 3.253 seconds. As you can see in the above video where Lucas Etter broke the record, he solved the puzzle in 4.904 seconds.
As you can see in the video, as the robot keeps solving the puzzle, first it does it in 1.196 seconds, then in 1.152 seconds, then, 1.04 seconds and eventually, 1.019 seconds.
The robot made by Jay and Paul uses a Rubik’s cube solving algorithm called Kociemba. The entire setup consists of four USB WebCams that are hooked up to a PC, 3-D printed frames to hold the structure as well as the cube, stepper motors to run the engine and of course the software Kociemba. The current configuration of the Rubik’s cube is scanned by the four cameras and fed into the software and then the robot makes the appropriate moves. Four holes have been drilled into the middle of each of the six sides of the Rubik’s cube so that the arms of the robot can manipulate the piece.
Originally, the Rubik’s cube puzzle was called the Magic Cube.