[Slightly Off-Topic] Rubiks cube solved in 5 seconds with lego!

CubeStormer II solves the Rubik's Cube puzzle faster than the human world record.

This ARM Powered robot was designed, built and programmed by Mike Dobson and David Gilday, creators respectively of CubeStormer

and Android Speedcuber

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.

Human speedcubers' solve times only include the physical manipulation of the cube and don't include some time which is allowed to "inspect" the cube beforehand. Times recorded by CubeStormer II are for the total solve including: image capture, software solution calculation and physical solve.

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Comment by Ellison Chan on January 16, 2012 at 2:38pm

Pretty nice, but in reality, cube solving is a task that's more suited for computers than humans really.  Once the pattern is recognized, it's just running the moves.  Just have to make sure the cube is well lubricated, or that machine will explode if the cube get's stuck.

Comment by Gareth Rens on January 16, 2012 at 2:46pm

Most tasks can be completed with computers. Hell, all we are are biological computer albeit complex ones.

Comment by Ellison Chan on January 16, 2012 at 2:56pm

True, but I remember, way back in the day, when I used to solve these things, I would look at the cube to see what state it was in, but I did not have all the moves I needed to solve it.  I just applied the moves as the patterns arose.  However, the computer can exam all sides of the cube, analyse it, determine the cube state, and know the exact sequence to use, before starting to solve it.

Comment by Jack Crossfire on January 16, 2012 at 5:08pm

Funny that everything absolutely has to be done with a Samsung Galaxy SII.  It's not like any cheap computer with a webcam could do it.

Comment by Fabien Bruning on January 17, 2012 at 2:09am

I guess the idea is that if a smartphone can do it, it's a real "robot".


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