A robot developed by MIT students Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo can solve a Rubik’s Cube in a record-breaking 0.38 seconds.
Many competitions have been held over the year’s to see who could solve the Rubik’s Cube the quickest by hand. The current 2017 Guinness World Record is held by 15-year-old Patrick Ponce (United States), who took just 4.69 seconds to solve a 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube at the Rally In The Valley competition in Middletown, Virginia, on 2 September 2017.
However, engineers have also started building robots programmed to solve the cube at a lightning speeds. In 2016, a robot broke the world record and solved the cube in 0.637 seconds. Mechanical engineering graduate student Ben Katz and third-year electrical engineering and computer science major Jared Di Carlo thought they could do better.
“We watched the videos of the previous robots, and we noticed that the motors were not the fastest that could be used,” recalls Di Carlo. “We thought we could do better with improved motors and controls.”
The pair set out to build a robot that could shatter the world-record for solving a Rubik’s Cube.
“The gist is that there is a motor actuating each face of a Rubik’s Cube,” explains Katz, who conducts research at MIT’s Biomimetic Robotics Lab. Custom-built electronics and controls are then used to control each of those motors. The robot also has pair of webcams pointed at the cube. “When we tell the robot to solve the cube, we use those webcams to identify the different colors on the face of the cube,” says Katz.
Di Carlo worked on the computer vision software and Katz on the “more mechanical stuff.” The result? They set a new world record. It only took their robot 0.38 seconds to solve the Rubik’s Cube.
Source: MIT News