In April of last year, teenager Collin Burns finished solving a standard-sized 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube in only 5.25 seconds, claiming a new world record for the feat from the 5.55-second time posted by previous record holder Mats Valk. In November 2015, however, Lucas Etter once again broke the record by finishing a Rubik's Cube in just 4.904 seconds.
Apparently though, the ability of humans to solve the 3x3x3 puzzle does not hold a candle to the ability of robots to do the same, as a pair of software engineers have created a robot that can solve a Rubik's Cube in just over a second.
It can be argued that it is still humans behind the feat, as Jay Flatland and Paul Rose created the robot. Whatever the case may be, it is an amazing thing to see a machine move so fast in solving a puzzle that baffles the general public.
Flatland and Rose are looking to officially break the machine world record for solving a Rubik's Cube of 3.253 seconds, and by watching the uploaded video, it would seem that the duo will have not trouble in smashing the time.
The video shows the robot solving the Rubik's Cube at times of 1.196 seconds, 1.152 seconds, 1.047 seconds and 1.019 seconds, as the machine displayed not just extreme speed in the task, but also consistency in keeping the solving time between 1 second and 1.2 seconds.
The machine is built using 3D-printed frames, stepper motors, and four USB web cameras that are connected to a PC. The cameras scan the Rubik's Cube to begin analyzing the puzzle through the Kociemba solving algorithm, and the solution is then carried out by the robot in lightning fast movements.
The Rubik's Cube being solved, however, is required to have four holes drilled into the middle of each side so that the robot will be able to hold onto it.
Having all four web cameras functional is also required for the robot to be able to solve the puzzle, which is why a piece of paper is used to cover the camera before the Rubik's Cube is scrambled manually for a solving attempt.