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article imageLego robot crushes world speed record for solving a Rubik's cube

By Layne Weiss     Mar 16, 2014 in Technology
Birmingham - Two engineers from England have set a new world record for solving a Rubik's cube with their ARM-powered robot, the Cubestormer 3.
The robot, which uses ARM processor technology, solved the Rubik's cube in 3.253 seconds at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, United Kingdom Saturday, Wall Street JournalJ reports. For 18 months, co-inventors David Gilday and Mike Dobson worked on the Cubestormer 3 in their spare time.
In 2011, the same team built the Cubestormer 2, which set a world record by solving s Rubik's cube in 5.27 seconds.
The Cubestormer 3 is 62 percent faster, and also beats the human record of 5.55 set last year by Dutchman Mats Valk, The Verge reports.
"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," said David Gilday according to the Wall Street Journal. "In the end, the hours we spent perfecting the robot and ensuring its motor and intelligence functions were properly synchronized paid off. Our big challenge now is working out if it's possible to make it go even faster."
The Cubestormer 3 uses the intelligence of a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone powered by an Exynos 5 Octa application processor with an eight-core ARM big.LITTLE(TM) implementation featuring four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 processors. The phone analyzes the Rubik's cube, calculates the correct sequence of moves and instructs four robotic hands to solve the cube.
And yes. It's just as complicated as it sounds. David Gilday said that it was extremely difficult to perfect communication between the smartphone and motors, The Verge reports. It's one thing for engineers to design software that can solve a Rubik's cube, but it's way more complex to perfectly time the commands for solving it with optimum speed without crushing the cube or breaking the machine.
According to the WSJ, Gilday also noted what an amazing device the Samsung Galaxy S4 really is. Sure, customers may enjoy its features. But not many people have realized until now how fast it can "think."
"The robot demonstrates just how fast a Samsung Galaxy S4 can think. As well as working out the solution, the ARM-powered Exynos processor has to instruct the robot to carry out the moves," David Gilday said. "This is more complex than it seems because CUBESTORMER 3 uses a speed cube which allows twists before the sides are fully-aligned. It means the robot is effectively mirroring the same kind of judgement and dexterity that a human speed cuber has to apply. "
The team will now work to beat the record yet again. According to The Verge, one engineer said, "Our big challenge now is working out if it’s possible to make it go even faster."
More about Lego, Rubik's cube, World record, Speed, arm processor technology
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