Mar 17 2014, 1:51am CDT | by Forbes
In October of 2011, Mike Dobson and David Gilday’s CubeStormer II robot, built from Lego kits and powered by a Samsung Galaxy S2, set the world record for solving a Rubik’s Cube: 5.27 seconds. That time just narrowly defeated the best ever human time, marking the first time a robot had done so.
Now the two robot builders are at it again. At last weekend’s Big Bang Fair in Birmingham UK, the team brought their next creation: the CubeStormer 3. Again built from Lego mechanical and robotics parts and this time powered by a Samsung Galaxy S4, the robot shattered the record set by the CubeStormer II by solving a Rubik’s Cube in only 3.253 seconds – which is not only faster than the CubeStormer II, but also faster than the fastest human time of 5.55 seconds set by Mats Valk.
The smartphone acts as the brain of the robot. It uses a custom app that uses the camera to make note of what the scrambled cube looks like, then sends instructions to eight Lego Mindstorm EV3 bricks, which then in turn manipulate the arms of the robot to move the cube.
“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,” Gilday said in a statement, “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.”
You can watch the robot break the world record yourself below:
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