While the feat is amazingly incredible when performed by human beings, it would seem that machinery wins once again on the long run as solving Rubik’s Cube world record was broken by a robot. Naturally, the two cannot compare, yet the record is impressive nonetheless.
The machine that broke the record at solving a Rubik’s cube puzzle this time was build by software engineers Jaw Flatland and Paul Rose, who devised a particularly clever method of increasing their robot’s speed. By connecting a 3D printed frame to 6 separate motors, tied together via the same computer interface, the robot can create the tridimensional mapping on the cube at amazing speeds.
The way the robot controls the cube is through 6 separate arms, each going into the drilled hole of all of the central squares of the cube’s faces. Monitoring the cube’s shifting faces is done through four separate USB webcams in order to constantly detect what necessary changes need to be done.
Everything falls down to the algorithm that was created by the two, however. It is built with an extensive list of move sets that the robot will perform, according to what the camera feed shows. It has been built to recognize colors and swiftly choose the fastest method of going through every step up until the end.
The robot managed to break the previous machine world record, which was 2.39 seconds. The robot was able to pull off an impressive 1.019 on its best try, normally going between 1 and 1.1 seconds. So while it did more than halve the time it previously took an automated system to solve the Rubik Cube puzzle, it is still way ahead of the human record. The fastest solving of the puzzle by a person is Lucas Etter’s 4.904 seconds just earlier in 2015’s River Hill Fall competition held in Maryland.
There is a video of one of the attempts made by the duo, along with the built robot that scored 1.069 seconds to solve the puzzle; you can find it on YouTube. It also jokingly displays how the machine that Flatland and Rose built is basically capable of solving the puzzle in the same time it takes for someone to toss up the cube and catch it as it comes down.
The creators of the robot in question have not yet applied for an official Guinness World Record due to what may turn out to be technical limitations. While the current results show that the device could easily overtake the record held by the previous machine, the guidelines of Guinness World Records mention several stipulations and requirements set by the World Cube Association.
This means that before any kind of display of algorithmic prowess, Jaw Flatland and Paul Rose need to prepare for the reading thoroughly. Not only that they need to ensure that the robot is capable of solving a Rubik’s cube that is according to the guidelines mentioned, but also have to ensure that the cube that is used will be scrambled according to the official rules that are normally used in the Rubik’s Cube competitions by human competitors.
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