Cubestormer 3 is a robot with just one job—to solve a scrambled Rubik's Cube as swiftly as possible. Yesterday, at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK, it did the task in an astounding 3.253 seconds, faster than any human or robot in the world.
The third-generation robot was built by co-inventors David Gilday and Mike Dobson for pure, blistering speed. The Samsung Galaxy S4 brain is tricked out with an Exynos octa-core processor, with four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 processors controlling eight Lego Mindstorms actuators. Gilday said: "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." Yeah. that fast.
The smartphone brain analyses the cube's starting arrangement, then instructs four robot arms to carry out each step needed to get the cube to its solved state. Since the robot uses a speed cube, which allows twisting moves even when the sides aren't perfectly aligned, the robot hands must be amazingly precise to move so smoothly and quickly.
As for the previous robot record, it was held by Cubestormer 2, which clocked in at 5.27 seconds. The world record human solver could only muster a 5.55 second run back in 2013. Clearly, the robot takeover is gaining speed.