A New Robot Can Solve a Rubik's Cube in 0.887 Seconds
A new world record... just about.
A new world record has been set for solving a Rubik's Cube, reducing the time to less than one second.
Yes, really. The new champion though isn't a human, but a robot created by industrial engineer Adam Beer. His robot, called Sub1, managed to solve a Cube in just 0.887 seconds. To put this into context, this is probably faster than you just read this sentence.
As you can see in the above video, the robot mounts the cube on three axes, all of which can spin that side of the cube around. The robot uses two webcams to identify the current configuration, and then uses an algorithm to figure out how to solve it. According to FossBytes, which broke the story, it uses 3D printed parts and is powered by an Arduino processor.
The algorithm was based on Herbert Kociemba's Two-Phase-Algorithm, which can solve any Rubik's configuration within 20 moves of or less. (You can find the full complex maths here if you're curious.)
The record for humans, by contrast, is a tortoise-like 5.25 seconds, a record that was set by Collin Burns last year.
What's perhaps most remarkable is that the record Sub1 beat had only been held for a few weeks. Back at the end of January a separate team managed to build a similar robot that could solve a Cube in 0.9 seconds - so this latest attempt has shaved just 0.003 seconds off of the time.
Apparently now the creators are attempting to get in touch with Guinness, to certify it as a World Record.