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See a robot solve Rubik's Cube in 3s

March 17, 2014 // Nick Flaherty

See a robot solve Rubik's Cube in 3s

A robot using ARM technology has set a new world record of 3.253 for solving a Rubik’s Cube


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CUBESTORMER 3 is the result of 18 months of effort by co-inventors David Gilday and Mike Dobson who worked on the project in their spare time. The new record was set at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK, and beats the existing time of 5.27 seconds set two years by the same team. David Gilday is a principle engineer at ARM, the worlds leading processor design company based in Cambridge, and co-inventor Mike Dobson, a security systems engineer for Securi-Plex.


"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 theres always an element of risk," said David Gilday, "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 record-breaking robot employs intelligence from a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone powered by an Exynos 5 Octa application processor with an eight-core ARM big.LITTLE implementation featuring four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 processors. The phone analyzes the cube, calculates the correct sequence of moves and instructs four robotic hands to do the manipulations. ARM9 processors also power the eight LEGO MINDSTORM EV3 bricks which perform the motor sequencing and control.
"The robot demonstrates just how fast a Samsung Galaxy S4 can think," said Gilday. "As well as working out the solution, the ARM-powered Exynos processor has to instruct the robot to carry out the moves. 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 judgment and dexterity that a human speed cuber has to apply."
Additional features include a precision independent braking system that delivers significant speed benefits and software optimized to take advantage of this increased mechanical flexibility and the compute power gains.
Alongside the fastest robot to complete a Rubiks Cube attempt, David Gilday also set two further world records with other ARM-based robots he designed, with the quickest completion of a 4x4x4 cube using a MultiCuber 3 robot based on a Huawei Ascend P6 smartphone with a Hisilicon K3V2E processor. This took 1 minute 18.68 seconds. He also broke the record for the largest Rubik's Cube solved by a robot, set with a 9x9x9 cube by a MultiCuber 999 robot based on a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone powered by an Exynos 4 Quad application processor. The number of solution possibilities ran to 278 digits and the robot recorded a time of 34 minutes 25.89 seconds.
www.arm.com

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