Friday 11 November 2016

Robot sets new Rubik's Cube world record

A robot has successfully solved the Rubik's Cube in just 0.637 seconds, beating the previous Guinness World Record achieved by an earlier version of the same machine. The Sub1 robot had achieved the record for the Fastest robot to solve a Rubik's Cube back in January, solving the famously difficult puzzle in just 0.887 seconds. The machine "Sub1 Reloaded" beat that record with the help a new, faster microchip. The
Rubik's Cube consists of six faces, each having nine squares of a colour that can be turned in opposing directions.

The object is to rotate the faces until they have returned to the original position. More than 43 quintillion combinations of the colored squares are possible. 

The same number of cubes could cover our planet in 275 layers of cubes. The Earth would then be covered with an 20-metre-high layer of Rubik's Cubes.

The fastest time to solve a Rubik's Cube by a person is 4.904 seconds, which was achieved by teenager Lucas Etter in November last year. 

"We want to show that problems can be solved much more efficiently using microelectronics," said Gregor Rodehueser, spokesman of German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies which developed the microchip for the robot. 

"This is also the case when it comes to automated driving, where you have to have very low latencies and absolutely reliable and quick technologies," Rodehueser told.

"Sub1 Reloaded" contains a number of other microchips. Like most devices we use every day, they link the real and digital worlds. The attempt started with the press of a button. The shutters of the sensor cameras were removed. 

The machine then detected the position of the elements. These had been previously scrambled, in accordance with the special requirements of the World Cube Association. 

The computing chip, or the "brain" of the machine, figured out the fastest solution and transmitted the necessary commands to the power semiconductors. 

These "muscles" then activated six motors, one for each side of the cube, at record speed and then brought them to a halt, all within the fraction of a second. 

Every Rubik's cube can be unscrambled with just 20 movements. A variety of algorithms can be used to solve the puzzle, the most well-known of which is the Fridrich Method. 

However, the manufacturers did not design his prodigy with the fewest moves in mind. 

Rather, they wanted to achieve the best time, allowing the robot a few extra moves to reach this goal. 

Guinness World Records is yet to verify that all the rules were followed during the attempt at the Electronica trade fair in Munich.

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