Lego Robot Solves Rubik's Cube in 3 Seconds, a World Record (Video)

Monday, 17 Mar 2014 06:36 PM

By Angela Deines

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The Cubestormer 3 robot made of Legos solved a Rubik's Cube in 3.253 seconds Friday, smashing its predecessor's record time of 5.27 seconds.

We knew Cubestormer 3 had the potential to beat the existing record but with the robot perfoming physical operations quicker than the human eye can see there’s always an element of risk,” said David Gilday, a principle engineer at robot-creating company ARM and co-inventor of the Cubestormer 2 technology that held the previous record. “In the end, the hours we spent perfecting the robot and ensuring its motor and intelligence functions were properly synchronized paid off. Our big challenge now is working out if it’s possible to make it go even faster.”

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The Cubestormer robot was built using Lego's Mindstorm EV3 bricks and uses the intelligence from a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, which “analyzes the cube, calculates the correct sequence of moves and instructs four robotic hands to do the manipulations,” according to the news release.

Gilday said the Cubestormer robot demonstrated just how fast the smartphone can think.

“As well as working out the solution, the ARM-powered Exynos processor has to instruct the robot to carry out the moves,” he said. ”This is more complex than it seems because Cubestormer 3 uses a speed cube which allows twists before the sides are fully-aligned. It means the robot is effectively mirroring the same kind of judgment and dexterity that a human speed cuber has to apply.”

Gilday has set other world records using smartphone technology to solve other configurations of the Rubik’s Cube that was invented in 1974 by Hungarian architect Erno Rubik and became popular in the 1980s. It was originally called the “Magic Cube.”

Gilday and Mike Dobson of ARM worked together for about 18 months to perfect Cubestormer 3’s technology. They set the new Guiness World Record at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, U.K., on Friday.

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