The world speed record for the solving of a Rubik’s Cube was just smashed – and of course it was by a robot. A British-built robot at that.
Cubestormer 3 is the robot in question, and this past weekend it managed to solve a Rubik’s Cube in just 3.253 seconds, smashing the previous record (which was also set by the same team) of 5.27 seconds. You can see it doing just that below – but don’t blink or you’ll miss it.
Cubestormer 3 is the work of British engineers Mike Dobson and David Gilday and uses an octa-core Samsung Galaxy S4 as its “brain”. Using the smartphone’s camera, the robot analyses the current state of the Rubik’s Cube and passes the info onto eight Lego Mindstorms EV3 bricks (also controlled by an ARM processor).
Even if you could out-think an octa-core Exynos CPU (you couldn’t, but at least you have a soul, so don’t feel bad), you wouldn’t be able to twist the cube as quickly as Cubestormer 3. The world record attempt was performed on a speed cube, which can be twisted before the edges are fully aligned.
You and whose arm-y?
One area, however, where humanity still holds an edge over lightning-brained robots is table tennis. Industrial robotics company Kuka last week hosted the world’s first ever man versus robot ping-pong, in which former world number one table tennis player Timo Boll took on an Agilus arm (which Kuka claims is the world’s fastest robotic arm) and won – just. Given that the tournament is a promotional video for Kuka, we’re not quite sure if we trust its results to the same degree as the Guinness-officiated Rubik’s Cube solving, mind you.