Two English engineers built a robot, out of Lego, powered by a smartphone, to solve a Rubik’s Cube. It does so and breaks the world record in the process.
Cubestormer 3 is a custom-built robot, assembled nearly entirely out of Lego pieces by two English engineers. This past Saturday it showed off its skills by solving a Rubik’s cube very, very quickly.
At the heart, or rather the brain of this beast was a Samsung Galaxy S4 running a custom-made Android application which analysed the cube’s position and arrangement, then relaying commands to the motors and pneumatics that make up the gripping and twisting portions of the Cubestormer’s ‘hands’.
David Gilday (from ARM) and Mike Dobson spent 18 months assembling their robot, with the hopes of out-doing the previous record held by their previous creation, Cubestormer 2. Whilst at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, Cubestormer 3 performed perfectly, improving on its predecessor’s time by 62 per cent, solving the cube in just 3.253 seconds. By comparison the human record is a ‘slovenly’ 5.55 seconds, held by Dutchman, Mats Valk, who achieved this impressive feat last year.
Now that this impressive machine has achieved its goal, Gilday and Dobson are heading back to the lab to get to work on Cubestormer 4. They explain that the trick is to balance the speed of the motors, the responsiveness of the app and the Rubik’s cube’s mechanisms to achieve the fastest solution without breaking anything, “Our big challenge now is working out if it’s possible to make it go even faster.”
How fast can you solve a Rubik’s cube and which smartphone would you say would be the best pairing for Cubestormer 4? Let us know in the comments down below.