MIT Students Break Speed Record with Rubik's-Solving Robot
- By Joshua Bolkan
A student team at MIT has designed a robot that can solve a Rubik's Cube in 0.38 seconds, setting a world record.
Designed and built by a pair of students using the student-run hackerspace MIT Electronics Research Society (MITERS), the robot broke the previous world record, set in 2016, of 0.67 seconds.
MITERS was originally launched to give students access to computers and now features an array of additional equipment, including a mill, saws, a lathe, oscilloscopes and more. Funding for the space comes from Swapfest, MIT's electronics flea market, held monthly April-October.
Computer Science Major Jared Di Carlo and Ben Katz, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, met through MITERS and used January's independent activities period to work on their robot.
"We watched the videos of the previous robots, and we noticed that the motors were not the fastest that could be used," said Di Carlo, in a prepared statement. "We thought we could do better with improved motors and controls."
The robot uses motors to turn each face of the puzzle, with custom controls and electronics moving them and a pair of webcams that tell the robot what colors are where. To determine the moves for the solution, the pair used existing software.
A video of their robot in action is on YouTube.
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.