While all the hype is swirling around self-driving cars, self-driving trucks, self-driving trains, and self-driving vacuums but there are so many other important tasks the robots can learn to do for themselves. Fortunately, endeavouring engineers are busy exploring this area of development and one, who goes by Human Controller, has found the pinnacle of autonomous engineering: a Rubik’s cube that solves itself.
Yes, there is a long history of machines built to solve Rubik’s cubes, but while they are very impressive in terms of speed, they are big and bulky and, crucially, not actually Rubik’s cubes themselves. Human Controller’s cube solves all these problems by way of a vaguely spherical assembly of sensors and motors that fit inside a hollowed out cube which can read the cube’s state as it is being scrambled, move the cube’s faces of its own accord, and solve the cube by doing so. Obviously, Human Controller made a few videos of the cube working its magic, but perhaps the most interesting and illuminating clip is footage of its disassembly:
The website for the project doesn’t include much in the way of details as to how the robot actually operates. There is, of course, an easy method to program such a bot which would be to program it to memorize the process of its shuffling and then reverse it in order to solve. But a snippet of the robot’s code posted on the project page suggests this isn’t the case, as does a close watch of the cube’s self-solving process. The last twist of the scramble is not the first twist of the solve:
If you’re not in the mood to embark on constructing your own self-solving cube, there’s only one solution to the scourge of unsolved cubes that assuredly infest your household and/or workplace: You’ll just have to learn to solve them yourself. You can do it. Trust me, it’s not that hard.