Robot resolves Rubik's Cube in record time
Welcome your Lego-made masters
Robots can beat humans at Jeopardy, fly our planes and even go to war for us, so they'll surely take over the world eventually. First thing's first, though - they'll have to beat our Rubik's Cube record. Oh wait, one just did.
Behold the CubeStormer II, a robot constructed from four lego Mindstorms NXT kits and packed with the processing power of a Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone.
On average, the CSII can crack a Rubik's Cube in six seconds.
In the video below, it can be seen clocking a record of 5.35 seconds - shaving milliseconds off the human-set figure of 5.66s.
Designed and built by the man behind the first - and slower - CubeStormer, Mike Dobson, and by software programmer David Gilday, the CSII is quite the technical achievement.
Sure, the maximum number of face turns needed to solve any instance of the Rubik's Cube puzzle is 20, but to work it out fully, both physically and mentally in such a short amount of time is über spectacular.
With the smartphone's dual-core capabilities, it simultaneously solves the puzzle as signals are sent to ARM processors in each Lego leg. Crazy stuff.
The CubeStormer II will be on show at ARM Techcon 2011 in the US later this month, where squares will rule the show. ®
"but only after being told how"
Or after the programmer has figured out how and programmed the phone to run the same logic.
Yes, it's a machine that simply does what it's told. Yes, it's not hard for a piece of software to solve a cube. Most innovations (e.g. auto-parking on BMW's) are the same sort of innovation. For goodness sake, see it for what it is... *lego* connected to a mobile *phone* to do something pointless *really* fast.
I want one!
Beer, because these guys deserve one. More than one. But they only have 5.3 seconds to drink them.
At that stage, it may be too late.
Eat that fanbois!
Finally, an application demonstrating how superior Samsung phones are in comparison with fruity ones.
same as humans then.
Humans don't solve Rubic's cube puzzles without knowing the rules for getting colors from one spot to another spot, either. Credit goes to the robot builders twice - once for understanding the workings of the Rubic's cube to the degree that they could write a program that solves them, and then even more credit for building an awesome (if a bit pointless) robot that solves the physical puzzle! Bragging rights doesn't even begin to describe their amount of win.
But if we're going to talk philosophy, robotics and AI aren't about making robots "intelligent". Shooting something down for not trying to is like claiming a dish made with "vegetarian fish balls" can't be tasty because it's not real fish, even though tastiness is not related to being fish. Time to get the qualifiers right: robotics and AI are about automating things that humans need to be intelligent for, ideally to the point that it's become trivial. Like, say, solving Rubic's cube.
Lots of things that you need to be really smart for as a human turn out to be trivial when have even a modest bit of robot kit available. A good scientific conclusion is that apparently intelligence isn't worth achieving, because it's apparently not necessary for doing useful and even awesome things.
Never mind that on a technical note, intelligence is an a posteriori evaluation, not a guiding quality. The actually useful quality measure is success at a task. Someone or something that has the potential to fail a task but achieves success, is said to be "intelligent", whereas someone or something that fails the task is said to not be intelligent (and someone or something that lacks the ability to fail cannot be rated). So talking about intelligence for robots is nonsense in the first place.
And then of course on a scientific note: "Intelligence" doesn't mean anything. It's not measurable, which means that using it shows you don't actually know what you really want to measure, or implement for that matter. Useful word when talking about people's behaviour, utterly useless word when objectively talking about carrying out some task.
It's more fun to do the evil thing..
When these things came out I discovered quickly it was *WAY* more fun to take one segment out and turn it and leave the experts to work that one out than to solve it myself. Dang - I just realized from how early I must have had BOFH tendencies..
Hmm, would the computer explode if I gave it a cube so modified?
Hello skynet, got a prezzie for youuu...