1 Robot, 1 Second, 1 Rubik’s Cube


Is the Rubik’s Cube world record in jeopardy?

A contraption built by software engineers Jay Flatland and Paul Rose managed to consistently solve the famous 3-D combination puzzle in just over one second, as demonstrated in a video Flatland uploaded earlier this month to YouTube.

The robot’s main components consist of a series of cube-turning stepper motors, a 3-D printed frame, USB webcams and an Arduino chip — all hooked up to a Linux system. The cameras feed information to the computer system about the cube’s state, and an algorithm spits out a set of moves to solve the cube very, very rapidly.

In the video, the robot solves a Rubik’s cube in times ranging from 1.196 seconds to 1.019 seconds.

If verified, that would easily top the Guinness record for fastest robot to solve a Rubik’s Cube — 3.253 seconds, set by a Cubestormer 3 smartphone-powered machine in March 2014.

“We’re in the process right now of applying for an official world record,” Flatland said in his video.

How does his robot compare to humans? The fastest non-robot time to solve a Rubik’s Cube is 4.90 seconds, a record set by 14-year-old Lucas Etter of Kentucky last November.

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