When future generations look back on 2018 what will they remember? Not much, I suspect, except for this amazing robot that can solve a Rubik’s cube in .38 seconds. The video, above, shows the cube in an unsolved position and then the actuators jump into action, slamming squares into place like some kind of crazed version of Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness.
Created by Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo, the project uses set of 6 Kollmorgen ServoDisc U9-series motors and 2 Playstation Eye cameras. The contraption reads the cube, solves it, and then slams the thing around in seconds.
The team also used a unique AND board that ensured that each motor would turn on and off independently, a feature that is necessary to ensure the entire thing doesn’t explode if the motors were to actuate at the same time. It then uses the min2phase algorithm to solve the cube in about 21 moves. They could even make the thing slightly faster with a bit of tweaking.
And there you have it: the technical feat of 2018. As someone who is still so fascinated with this timeless toy that I often steal it from my kids, hats off to Katz and Di Carlo.
This bonus video features a cube exploding mid-solve: