Robot scans and solves Rubik's Cube in around 10 seconds

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Students at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, have developed what they claim is the world’s fastest Rubik’s Cube-solving robot.

The robot, named Ruby, can solve the scrambled puzzle in slightly more than 10 seconds, including the time taken to scan the initial status of the cube.

It was built from scratch by six students as their final-year project for the double degree in Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics and Mechatronics)/Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Software Engineering).

‘Ruby works by scanning each face of a scrambled cube through a webcam,’ said Prof Chris Pilgrim, deputy dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies. ‘It then uses a software algorithm to develop a solution that is fed to the high-speed robot through a real-time embedded control system.

‘The students’ combined expertise in robotics and software engineering enabled them to construct a robot with a fast computer vision-tracking system capable of very high-precision movements and timings.’

The team comprised brothers David and Richard Bain, plus Daniel Purvis, Jarrod Boyes, Miriam Parkinson and Jonathan Goldwasser.

The students are applying to have Ruby’s Rubik’s Cube-solving skill recognised by Guinness World Records. The current human world record for single time on a 3 x 3 x 3 Rubik’s Cube is held by Feliks Zemdegs, who had a best time of 6.24 seconds at the Kubaroo Open 2011.

As of October 2010, the world’s fastest Rubik’s Cube-solving robot, the Cubinator, was able to solve a scrambled Rubik’s Cube in 18.2 seconds.