When was the last time you had a stab at solving a Rubik’s Cube? If you’re a habitual puzzle solver, you may be aware that it can be done by applying an algorithm
For proof of this, look no further than this robot created by Jay Flatland and Paul Rose.
The machine consists of six stepper motors housed inside of a 3D printed frame, all controlled by an Arduino. Four USB webcams scan the sides of the cube to determine its position, feed that information into a programme in Linux, and that is turned into a solution the motors can use to turn the cube.
An algorithm called “kociemba” handles the heavy work in turns of actually solving the Rubik’s Cube, and you can have access to the entire project as its free to use on Github.
As for the cube itself, it’s had to modified slightly to give the motors something to grab onto. Each face has carefully drilled holes that fit into 3D printed “feet” at the end of the motors.
Here’s a clip of this beast in action:
Rose mentions that he is in the process of applying for “an official world record”. We assume he means a Guinness World Record, in which case he will have to beat a student-made robot from 2015 that snatched the record at 2.39 seconds.
The fastest time shown in the video is a decidedly faster 1.047 second solve, so he’s in good standing to clinch the record.
Make sure you watch the video to the end, however, as the machine manages to solve a cube in less time than Rose is able to throw one in the air and catch it.