Alan Smithee

CubeStormer II Beats Human Rubik’s Cube Solving Time

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I know, I know, what’s it with all of these record breaking posts today X? It’s simple really, this post exists merely to warn you of our impending robot overlords.

For some time, the record has been a human only venture as machines were no where near as close to the comprehension speed of our intellectual minds to figure out this abstract mathematical problem…until someone created CubeStormer II.

From the creator’s YouTube channel:

The mechanics are constructed entirely from LEGO, including four MINDSTORMS NXT kits, with the addition of a Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone running a custom Android app as the robot’s brain. Both the MINDSTORMS NXT kits and the Samsung Galaxy SII use a variety of ARM –based processors.

The app uses the phone’s camera to capture images of each face of the Rubik’s Cube which it processes to determine the scrambled colours. The solution is found using an advanced two-phase algorithm, originally developed for Speedcuber, enhanced to be multi-threaded to make effective use of the smartphone’s dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.2GHz processor. The software finds an efficient solution to the puzzle which is optimised specifically for the capabilities of the four-grip mechanism. The app communicates via Bluetooth with software running on the ARM microprocessors in the LEGO NXT Intelligent Bricks which controls the motors driving the robot. During the physical solve, the app uses OpenGL ES on the phone’s ARM Mali-400 MP GPU to display a graphical version of the cube being solved in real time.

So what you see is a machine that can create a solution and implement it before a human can. The fastest human solve that I can find for a 3×3 Rubik’s Cube is shown below. Keep in mind that the subject has time to analyze before actually starting the solve…while the machine does it all in about the same time.

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