It seems like there’s been plenty of news lately from the world of Rubik’s Cube record-breaking robots. Less than one month ago we covered a 3D printed robot, from Jay Flatland and Paul Rose, that was able to solve the Rubik’s Cube in just over a second. This robot is described as having “a cube-holding frame, stepper motors, and USB-powered cameras that capture, in high resolution, the cube’s form.” This robot beat a 2014 record previously set by David Gilday and Mike Dobson, who created a robot that solved the Cube in 3.253 seconds. Now the lucky number appears to be 0.887 seconds (!) and has been set by German engineer Albert Beer.
Who would have thought that the world of robots, some 3D printed, solving the Rubik’s Cube in seconds for fame and glory, would be so competitive? There’s no doubt that several folks have been up to this challenge of creating an even faster robot for Cube-solving purposes. Beer’s machine, which is named Sub1, has been filmed solving the Rubik’s Cube in under a second, but this record has not been officially approved by the Guinness World Records — yet.
“The moment the start button was pressed, shutters were removed from two webcams trained on the cube. From the two pictures taken – each showing three sides of the cube – a laptop identified the colours and calculated a solution using a two-phase algorithm. This being done in a split second, the solution was passed through a microcontroller board that orchestrated the 20 moves used to solve the puzzle.”
While Beer’s robot has not officially been recognized as breaking the world record, bumping Flatland and Rose’s 3D printed robot off the charts, Beer seems perfectly confident that he will soon be the official title holder. He reports that he sacrificed much time and effort making the speedy Sub1 robot, spending “several hundreds of working hours to construct, build, program, and tune.” He also states on YouTube that the Sub1 “broke a historic barrier and finished the last move in new world record time.”
While Flatland and Rose’s record holding robot placed 3D printed robots on the map for this kind of puzzle-solving, it is likely that there will be many more speedy 3D printed robots in the future that can continue to push the record, leaving us to wonder, “How much faster can it get?” (And… when will we see the next 3D printed one?)
You can take a look at the below video to see the Sub1 in action. Discuss in the Sub1 Robot forum over at 3DPB.com.