10.69 seconds: Robot Ruby breaks Rubik's record (w/ video)

May 30, 2011
10.69 seconds: Robot Ruby breaks Rubik's record (w/ video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- The world's fastest Rubik's Cube-solving robot has been developed by students at Swinburne University of Technology.

The , named Ruby, can solve the scrambled puzzle in just over 10 seconds, including the time taken to scan the initial status of the cube.

It 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 video will load shortly.
See the robot in action, completing a Rubik's Cube in 10.69 seconds. The robot, named 'Ruby', is an end-to-end solution for solving a Rubik's Cube that was custom designed and built from scratch using base components with the objective of optimising for speed. The robot works by scanning each face of a scrambled cube through a web cam and then developing a solution using a software algorithm which is used to solve the cube using a high-speed robot. The total solve time including the initial face scanning is approximately 10 seconds. Ruby is the fusion of a fast computer vision-tracking system, a software implementation of an algorithm and a real-time embedded control system capable of very high precision motor movements and timings. This project was achieved with the integration of the student's expertise in robotics and software engineering.

"Ruby works by scanning each face of a scrambled cube through a web cam. It then uses a to develop a solution which is fed to the high-speed robot through a real-time embedded control system," said Professor Chris Pilgrim, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Information and .

"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 team comprised identical twin computer whiz kids David and Richard Bain, Daniel Purvis, Jarrod Boyes, Miriam Parkinson and Jonathan Goldwasser.

They are applying to have Ruby's Rubik's-solving skill recognised by Guinness World Records. 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.

As at October 2010, the world's fastest Rubik's Cube solving robot, the Cubinator, was able to solve a scrambled in 18.2 seconds.

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1 / 5 (1) May 30, 2011
add a few extra webcams to scan all sides in one go and another 2 turning scissors to turn 2 layers in parallell, i think a fully optmized rig would do it in 5 seconds
1 / 5 (3) May 30, 2011
Definitely, it's the world record! The human can solve this task only just over 17 seconds!
not rated yet May 30, 2011

it doesn't need to see all sides or the ability to turn more than 2 sides to solve it in an optimized way, since neither does a human. I'd bet they'd need to improve their algorithm (both hardware and software) in order to greatly improve the solution time.
5 / 5 (2) May 30, 2011
turning two layers in parallel would add almost no gain at all --

not everyone is as geeky as i am -- if you look at the solving algorithms almost none of them involve turning one side and then turning the exact opposite side, almost every algo is turn one side and then turn an adjacent edge flip and reverse

the reall speed up would come from adding parralel processing to evauluate the absolute shortest solution, that is a HUGE HUGE probelm space that I know they did not tackle - instead they chose to use an algorithm that always works no matter what and is only dependant on initail orientation and perioding oreintation checks , or reevaluations
not rated yet May 30, 2011
yup, looks like El Nose also knows how to solve a cube.
not rated yet May 30, 2011
Fricken sweet!!!!!!
not rated yet May 31, 2011
yesss, electronic engineering does it, viva to those students.
not rated yet May 31, 2011
I couldn't find the Robot's FaceBook page ~ 10 seconds and it didn't even brag to its mates??? Weird...
5 / 5 (6) May 31, 2011

I'm part of the team that made this robot and you are quite right in that it could be optimised. The actual algorithm for generating the best solution will return 22-25 move solutions (note: the actual maximum ever required is 20 but that takes the google supercomputers to compute).
The video you saw is running off a netbook for convenience, but when we go for the official world record, we will use a better computer.
We also have a new functionality that will output the best 10 or so solutions, and the robot will pick the one that results in the least number of robot moves.
We think we can go sub 8 seconds with just a few software tweaks and more processing power.

Thanks for all the comments guys, this was a really fun project and we will keep you updated.
not rated yet May 31, 2011
doesn't this depend on how far the cube is randomized? there must be a group of "most-jumbled" states - I doubt they always set these cubes up at a 'most jumbled state' for these trials.
very cool, though!
1 / 5 (1) May 31, 2011
Definitely, it's the world record! The human can solve this task only just over 17 seconds!

wtf are you talking about? humans can solve 3x3 cubes in under 7 seconds.
1 / 5 (1) May 31, 2011

not rated yet May 31, 2011
How much time is taken by running the solution algorithm, and how much by actual turning? What are the mechanical limitations? If you turn it faster, does the plastic melt or fragment?
not rated yet May 31, 2011
There is only one camera at one side? How is the Algo able to 'see' the other sides before coming up with a solution so fast?

Also, is there a feedback loop or is it just-> Find a solution and execute?
not rated yet Jun 02, 2011

Human competitors are allowed time to inspect the cube before attempting the solve.

The under 7 seconds records do not include the 15 second inspection period.

Article A3
not rated yet Jun 04, 2011
How much time is taken by running the solution algorithm

This is my question also. Without the burden of physical implementation.

Kudos. Must have been fun. Good luck in competition.
not rated yet Jun 18, 2011
Me thinks this a prank. Video in reverse. The clock can is rigged. Too many clues to list. Classic version of order to chaos. Yeah! Entropy struts it's stuff. Kudos to those involved. - DAS

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