This Robotic Rubik's Cube Can Solve Itself

By Andrew Liszewski on at

It’s not going to set any world records, but this robotic Rubik’s Cube that’s filled with electronics and tiny electric motors is actually more impressive than watching someone race through the puzzle in a few seconds because it can solve itself without any assistance – aside from a human messing it up in the first place.

A Japanese hardware hacker who goes by the alias ‘Human Controller’ was responsible for this incredible creation, which is the exact same dimensions as the maddening cube you at some point either threw at the wall in frustration or painstakingly peeled and repositioned all of its colourful stickers. But once again, someone has found a way to make our lives easier with a robot.

Even more challenging than solving the Cube was finding a way to squeeze all of the electronics, motors, wiring, and batteries into the limited space available inside the classic puzzle. As revealed in this teardown video, it required not only a custom 3D-printed core, but also custom versions of the individual tiny cubes that are able to twist and rotate to facilitate the actual solving.

Compared to the fastest human and robotic solvers, this self-solving Rubik’s Cube is by no means a speed demon. It could certainly benefit from an improved solving algorithm, but at the same time, who am I to suggest improvements to a robot that can already outperform me? [DMM via IEEE Spectrum]