Robotic Contraption Solves Rubik’s Cube in Under ½ of a Second!

Unless you have a special talent for it, solving a Rubik’s Cube isn’t easy. Also difficult is constructing a machine to do this task for you, but hackers Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo have now built a system that uses six high-speed servo motors to solve the puzzle in .38 seconds (an unofficial world record). Yes, that’s less than half a second to visually capture the cube’s colors, process the image, and move each side into position.

The device employs a pair of PlayStation Eye cameras positioned at an angle to capture each face at over 150 frames per second. The computer uses OpenCV to translate and an algorithm called “min2phase” to solve the cube and send information to the motor controllers via a USB to serial adapter.

This entire process takes only 45ms, at which time a custom AND BOARD is used to sequence the motors, each driven by an STM32F303K8 chip. The results, seen in the video below, are nothing short of spectacular.

For more details on the robotic contraption, Di Carlo’s write-up can be found here. Katz’s take on things is available on his site and includes destroyed Rubik’s Cube pictures, if you’ve ever wondered what is inside of one. Finally, if you’d like to examine the software behind the build, check out the project’s GitHub page.

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