Video: Robot Ruby solves Rubik's Cube in ~10 seconds, humans still winning

By on June 1, 2011, 12:00 PM

Students at Swinburne University of Technology are claiming they have developed the world's fastest Rubik's Cube-solving robot. The robot, named Ruby, can solve the scrambled puzzle in just over 10 seconds (the video embedded below shows 10.18 seconds, while another attempt shows 10.69 seconds) including the time taken to scan the initial status of the cube. The robot will be on show at Swinburne's Open Day on August 21, 2011.

Ruby was built from scratch by six students as their final year project for the double degree in Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics and Mechatronics)/Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Software Engineering). The team comprised of identical twins David and Richard Bain, Daniel Purvis, Jarrod Boyes, Miriam Parkinson, and Jonathan Goldwasser.

"Ruby works by scanning each face of a scrambled cube through a web cam," Professor Chris Pilgrim, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies, said in a statement. "It then uses a software algorithm to develop a solution which is fed to the high-speed robot through a real-time embedded control system. The students' combined expertise in robotics and software engineering enabled them to construct a robot with a fast computer vision-tracking system capable of very high precision movements and timings."

The ~10 second record is still unofficial. The students are applying to have Ruby's Rubik's-solving skill recognized by Guinness World Records. As at October 2010, the world's fastest Rubik's Cube solving robot, the Cubinator, was able to solve a scrambled Rubik's Cube in 18.2 seconds.

Even if the record is approved, robots still have quite a bit to go to beat their creators. The current human world record for single time on a 3×3×3 Rubik's Cube is held by Feliks Zemdegs who had a best time of 6.24 seconds at the Kubaroo Open 2011. Here's a video of that feat:

I've solved a Rubik's Cube twice in my life, and both times were a combination of very basic skill and a little bit of luck. Can you say you've done better?




User Comments: 14

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example1013 said:

I solve them all the time. The secret is the flathead screwdriver.

sMILEY4ever said:

Uhm, the guy in the vid does not start the timer when he begins "scanning" the cube.

The robot, named Ruby, can solve the scrambled puzzle in just over 10 seconds (the video embedded below shows 10.18 seconds, while another attempt shows 10.69 seconds) including the time taken to scan the initial status of the cube.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"The secret is the flathead screwdriver."

I found peeling off the colored squares and moving them for the win worked best for me. :p

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

"Pro" rubik's cubers tend to lube or modify their cubes to allow it to rotate faster. I can't see the videos right now but I'll look later to see if that is the case with the human and/or robot.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

human has time to look it over. program the bot with starting colors (on which sides) and give it a better ability to hold it and im sure itll beat humans with 5 seconds or something.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

TomSEA said:

"The secret is the flathead screwdriver."

I found peeling off the colored squares and moving them for the win worked best for me. :p

Tom, they do pop right out. pretty easy really. Ive only been able to sove them in about 4 minutes best time.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TomSEA said:

"The secret is the flathead screwdriver."

I found peeling off the colored squares and moving them for the win worked best for me. :p

Yes but was that under 10 seconds? :P

I found that painting over them is working flawlessly, or can always use the good'ol hammer

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

The cube reappeared as a temporary thing everyone was doing, so I joined in and usually finished a 3x3x3 in just under one minute. The most known algorithm is definitely not the fastest - but a pint of olive oil is a sure place to start.

stewi0001 said:

"Pro" rubik's cubers tend to lube or modify their cubes to allow it to rotate faster.

Yeah... mine still smells like an olive all right...

MilwaukeeMike said:

I used to be able to solve them... bought a how-to book at a garage sale when I was kid and learned a few repeatable patterns to get through it. Used to impress people who didn't realize i was just repeating the same pattern over and over.

I have no idea how to solve one even though I've done it countless times. Maybe i'll read up on it.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

There's a simple algorithm to solving them. Once you learn it, you can solve it in no time. I used to know the trick (found it on google), but the fastest I could muster was about 40 seconds.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The robot analyzed and solved it within 10 seconds. The person got to look at the cube for a good bit before hand.

NeoFryBoy said:

The robot begins solving (read manipulating) it as he is scanning it, so I see why they start counting right away.

Guest said:

That's not a Rubik's brand cube that the bot is using, I can't say for sure but it looks like a Sheng En F2, Tai-yan is better but you can never go wrong with an F2.

And please don't put oil in your cube, pick up a can of CRC Heavy Duty Silicone, couple sprays inside, work it around for a minute and you're good to go with no mess.

And FYI speed cubes are almost always cheaper than a rubik's brand(my Tai Yan 2 was $9, my Rubik's was $15)

Guest said:

Oh! And I average around 12 seconds with my Tai Yan and about 20 with my Rubik's

And speed solver's don't use the rubik's method, most use Fridrich's, but there is also Petrus, Roux, and quite a few other methods

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