A video uploaded on YouTube on Wednesday amazes the world by establishing a record time for a robot to solve a Rubik’s cube. The official aspect, if considered, in the time of 0.38 seconds the robot solves Rubik’s cube and this time is not even a blink of an eye. A resounding one beats the current record holder Infineon’s Sub1 Reloaded in 0.64 seconds.
MIT robotics student Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo, a software developer together have created this nameless robot and this robot solves Rubik’s cube. Katz describes the scenario as a contraption. However, the re-use from Katz end include other robotic projects motors, eBay sourced motors and two $7-PlayStation eye cameras. The cameras are placed face-to-face corners so the eyes can see all the cube faces.
“We used the cheapest cube we could find on Amazon Prime. Because we thought we’d end up destroying many of them. But somehow ended up only going through four cubes and hundreds of solves.” Di Carlo writes in a blog post. The failed attempt video also is online.
Robot Solves Rubik’s Cube with an Algorithm & Cameras
The pair has attributed the time of impressiveness by using sophisticated motors. “We noticed that all of the fast Rubik’s Cube solvers were using stepper motors, and thought that we could do better if we used better motors,” Di Carlo explains. “So we did”. The pair specifically used six Kollmorgen ServoDisc U9-series motors. These motors will take the time of 10-ms to perform cube’s quarter turn. Indeed, they will reach 1000 rpm rotation in 10 ms.
Moreover, the algorithm used by the robot is min2phase to solve the puzzle. It takes the data from the cameras and then converts the data into moves for the motor to operate. Shuang Chen wrote the algorithm several years ago. But the software front needed much input enabling the actual machine to solve a puzzle physically. This includes a work to sync the motors and prevent them from making collisions while making moves.
They have found tightening the cube and making it harder to turn helped them. “When the cube is loose (like it would be if a person were trying to solve it fast), the outer faces just cam outwards when you try to turn the center faces quickly,” Katz explains in a blog post. “It took tightening the cubed way past what intuitively felt appropriate, in order to stop the camming action from happening.”
Katz thinks the record can lessen the time to 100-ms. With fewer turns, a further record can be established based on the potentiality of time. Basically, the algorithm uses 19-23 moves to solve the cube and with 21 moves, the record was set.
“For the time being, Jared and I have both lost interest in playing the tuning game,” writes Katz. Robot solves Rubik’s cube is a pretty thing to be noted and just try once if you could make it by building such a robot.