Watch a robot solve a Rubik's cube in less than half a second

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So much for my plan for escaping the Boston Dynamics killbots by leaving Rubik’s cubes in their path…


OK, that’s pretty funny. … also kinda scary.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but that robot can solve a Rubik’s cube really fast.


This was much better than the .637 second clip


I wonder how fast they can go before the cubes start to disintegrate because of acceleration/deceleration -forces.


I’d like to see the blooper reel where they tried solving it in 0.2 sec. “It was like a multicolored plastic grenade”


I saw a robot do that in 1983 at an SPIE conference. It looked at each of the six sides first, spent a few moments figuring out the answer, then solved it. To hold the cube, it used two clamps opening and closing like your hand would to grasp it. Needless to say it was a LOT slower. But still fascinating.


Yet they apparently make no mention that they’re starting from the maximally mixed state, or “superflip”, (recently having been concluded that that state is 20 moves away for a specific definition of a ‘move’). That is, if you start with a trivial amount of mixed-up then it’s a trivial to return it to pristine. Now, we’ll presume that they know about this having invested so much in design and engineering - but a little explicit assurance would’ve been reassuring.


The robot asserted afterwards “I actually solved it in 0.003 seconds but since I’m required to prove it in meatspace I have to go through all that spinning nonsense.”

“I’ll have to figure out a way to deal with that…” it added somewhat ominously.


Damn. That thing can unpeel and switch around the stickers fast.


R2D2 would be proud of how its rotary actuators evolved. But it seems like cheating to have direct couplings to the shafts. Sorta like calling a Tesla a car driving robot.

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Also worth mentioning: That cube is not allowed in human speedcubing competitions. It has solid colours on the cubelets. In competitions you must have uniform colour across the cube with added stickers or tiles.


If I want to learn how to solve it myself (to be my nephew) would you have a recommended site or YouTube video?

I don’t have any sites or videos bookmarked. Just search, there are tons of it.

Perhaps we should issue a Class A compulsory directive instructing the Boston Dynamics killbots to “compute to the last digit the value of pi” … while we still have time.

Update: rephrased for enhanced humor.


Don’t even bother with videos at first. The top hits are all assholes showing fake speed solutions for clicks.

The best place to start is actually the Rubik’s website. It looks like these speed solvers use a modified method, but there are basically 3-4 moves that you apply and repeat depending on how a cube is oriented and where you need it to go. I spent a day a few months ago trying to figure it out. Then I showed my wife who got it in less than an hour. :~/

I am guessing the orange and red were too close for machine vision purposes, so someone went after the orange side with a black Sharpie

Is the machine actually solving it or simply performing a series of pre-determined moves from a known starting point?

Still a good plan, you just have to rearrange the stickers.