Robot Sets Guinness Record for Solving Rubik’s Cube In Less Than A Second

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The Rubik’s Cube became a global craze during the 1980s, and its popularity continues even today, thanks to its simple yet challenging nature.

Many people of all ages are drawn to solving this puzzle, seeing it as a fun and rewarding challenge. It’s not just the satisfaction of completing it but also the benefits for reflexes, coordination, and finger dexterity that make it so appealing.

It may seem easy at first glance, but with nine colored squares on each side of the cube and the goal of aligning all the colors on each side, it’s a real mind-bender. 

Did you know that even on the regular 3×3 cube, there are over 43 quintillion possible color combinations?

Mind-blowing, right?

As of January 2024, the cube has sold around 500 million units worldwide, making it the world’s top-selling puzzle game and toy. 

Many people have attempted to solve the Rubik’s Cube quickly. But have you heard about the robot that set the Guinness World Record for solving it at an incredible speed?

Yes, you read that right!

On May 21, 2024, engineers at Mitsubishi Electric created a robot that solved a 3×3 block puzzle in just 0.305 seconds. The robot, known as the TOKUI Fast Accurate Synchronized Motion Testing Robot or TOKUFASTbot, was developed by a team at Mitsubishi’s Component Production Engineering Center in Hyogo, Japan. 

TOKUFASTbot project team
Image credit: Mitsubishi Electric

They built the robot in their spare time using the company’s high-speed, high-precision factory automation equipment and control technology, commonly used in manufacturing. 

This robot also surpassed the previous record set by a robot developed by MIT students in 2018 by 0.075 seconds.

In comparison, this impressive record time is almost as fast as the blink of an eye, which typically lasts between 0.1 and 0.4 seconds.

Also, the Guinness record for a human solving a Rubik’s cube is a relatively slow 3.47 seconds. It was achieved by “speedcuber” Yusheng Du in 2018. 

Imagine this: the robot’s time was over 10 times faster than the best human record!

In a real-time video of the solve, a scrambled cube is held by six robot arms; a quick motion and a short noise follow, and a solved cube appears. Mitsubishi slowed down the video playback 42 times for humans to observe the process, and even then, it only took nine seconds.

Image credit: Mitsubishi Electric

The Mitsubishi engineers used a special high-speed positioning technology to rotate the cube 90 degrees in just 0.009 seconds with a compact, high-power servomotor to achieve this record. This speed is as fast as a single flap from a hummingbird’s wing.

The robot also used motion-control technology from their manufacturing processes, which helped TOKUFASTbot make precise and fast movements.

The robot also used a new AI-based color-recognition algorithm to instantly recognize colors despite challenges such as changing block positions, the shadows, and differentiating between similar colors like red and orange. 

According to Guinness, the cube was a big factor in how fast the robot could solve it.

During the team’s first official attempt, the cube limited the robot’s solving speed, as it got stuck at such high speeds. However, the second attempt was successful and even faster than the practice attempts.

The engineers believe that their products have the potential to improve the productivity of people in the world and that this record will demonstrate the company’s and their products’ technical capabilities.

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