A Robot Solved the Rubik's Cube in Just 0.637 Seconds

Last weekend, Mats Valk broke the human world record for solving a Rubik's Cube with a time of 4.74 seconds. Well, this robot just did it way, way faster by solving one in under 1 second. Don't tell me a robot takeover isn't real possibility.

Right now, electronica, the world's leading trade fair and exhibition for electronics development and production, is being held in Munich, Germany. One of the major exhibitors at the fair is Infineon, a German company that focus on semiconductor and system solutions, who showed off their Sub1 Reloaded robot. This high performance robot features extremely powerful microchips usually used in technology for self-driving cars.

It's important to point out that all Rubik's Cubes can be unscrambled in 20 moves. In less than a single second—0.637 seconds to be exact—the robot was able to identify how the puzzle had been scrambled and spun the cube until each face showed a single color.

Image by Infineon/Facebook

This was the result of Infineon AURIX microcontroller and microchips, six arms with motors at the end to spin the cube, and sensory cameras to track progress. When viewed in real time, it's impossible to track the changes well. It's not until the video gets twelve times slower that we can see the motors spinning the faces of the cube until each one is completely monochromatic.

The Rubik's Cube has been a source of cultural fascination since it debuted in 1978, and that doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. There will always be humans and machines who will keep racing to get smarter and faster–what will they do next?

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