About a year ago last march, a robot called the Sub1 solved a Rubikā€™s Cube in 0.637-seconds, earning it the Guinness World Record for being the fastest cube-solving bot. That honor now appears to be in jeopardy, however, as a pair of engineers have demonstrated a new robot that can solve a Rubikā€™s Cube in almost half that time: a mere 0.38 seconds.

According to the blog that Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo created to show off their ā€˜Rubikā€™s Contraptionā€™, the bot relies on six Kollmorgen ServoDisc U9-series motorsā€”often used in high-precision, high-speed robot armsā€”to manipulate the puzzle cube at blinding speeds. To the naked eye, the movements are nothing but a momentary blur of colored plastic quickly coming into perfect order.


The Rubikā€™s Contraption also uses a pair of PlayStation Eye cameras to analyze and calculate an efficient solution to a mixed-up Rubikā€™s Cube before it ever makes a single move, which helps contribute to its speed. The creators say they have also developed special controllers for the robotā€™s six motors to ensure that only one is moving at any given time. If the movements of the motors happen to overlap, even for a hundredth of a second, it will simply tear a Rubikā€™s Cube apart, as demonstrated below.

Katz and Di Carloā€™s robot hasnā€™t been reviewed by Guinness World Record officials yet, which is unfortunate, because the creators claim it could solve a Rubikā€™s Cube even faster than 0.38-seconds. Improving its efficiency, however, apparently requires time-consuming debugging, which the pair seem less interested in doing just to earn a fancy piece of paper and 15 additional minutes of internet fame.


[Built Its via TechCrunch]