Feeds

This record-smashing robot solves a Rubik's Cube in 3.253 seconds

Talk about twisting someone's ARM

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Video Forty years after the invention of the Rubik's Cube, the puzzle that's done more to induce finger injuries in youngsters than any games console, has been cracked at lightning speed by a Lego-built robot controlled by a Samsung S4 smartphone.

The team behind the new Guinness World Record-winning robot consists of David Gilday, a principal engineer at ARM and Mike Dobson, a security systems engineer for Securi-Plex. Their previous Rubik's robot, CubeStormer 2, took the time to solve a randomly mixed cube down to 5.35 seconds in 2011, but the third version of CubeStormer has now cut that down to 3.253 seconds.

"We knew CubeStormer 3 had the potential to beat the existing record but with the robot performing physical operations quicker than the human eye can see there's always an element of risk," said Gilday.

"In the end, the hours we spent perfecting the robot and ensuring its motor and intelligence functions were properly synchronized paid off. Our big challenge now is working out if it's possible to make it go even faster."

The robot uses an eight-core Exynos 5 Octa application processor in a Samsung S4, which packs in four ARM Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 cores to analyze the cube using the phone's camera. ARM9 processors control the eight Lego Mindstorms EV3 bricks that control the four robotic arms used to twist and turn the cube's bricks into the correct position.

“The robot demonstrates just how fast a Samsung Galaxy S4 can think. As well as working out the solution, the ARM-powered Exynos processor has to instruct the robot to carry out the moves," said Gilday.

"This is more complex than it seems because CubeStormer 3 uses a speed cube which allows twists before the sides are fully-aligned. It means the robot is effectively mirroring the same kind of judgement and dexterity that a human speed cuber has to apply.”

As in so many human endeavors, machines make our efforts in this field look puny. The fastest human speedcuber is Dutchman Mats Valk, who last year set a time of 5.55 seconds to solve the puzzle. He has another chance to beat his record in August at the next World Cube championships in Roskilde, Denmark. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.