Ah, the Rubik’s Cube. I remember the introduction of it like it was yesterday. I was in grade school and everyone I knew was carrying this little square puzzle around.
Only a few of my classmates could solve the Rubik’s Cube but my Junior High brother figured out the patterns and instructed me on how to do it. We both got good at it – really good.
It became a nightly contest between my brother and I on who could solve it the fastest. We had a dozen sitting around the house. We’d buy them, pull them all apart and spread vaseline all over the inside to make them easier to turn and increase our time.
My top speed was around 50 seconds. I remember thinking that I could beat anyone before realizing the world record holders were doing it in less than half that time.
How in the world I wondered?! I later found out that the bottom to top approach was a very inneficient method of solving the Rubik’s Cube. If I wanted to grab that world record, I would need to relearn a different method, such as the Fridrich Method.
That never happened. After about a year on the cube, my interests turned to other things – namely sports and girls. But still, I have maintained a lifetime love for the Rubik’s Cube and I’m still captivated by anyone who can blast through it at speeds almost too fast for the human eye.
The newest Rubik’s Cube Champion was crowned just yesterday with a record time of 3.5 seconds. Not too shabby.
The record-breaking feat took place at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK and the new Champion is a robot that goes by the name Cubestormer 3.
The techonology employed is the same intelligence used by the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone with an added Exynos 5 Octa application processor.
David Gilday, of ARM engineering, gets the credit as the leading engineer and Gilday says, “The robot demonstrates just how fast a Samsung Galaxy S4 can think. 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 judgement and dexterity that a human speed cuber has to apply.”
Check out Cubestormer 3 in the video below. You won’t see much though – 3.25 seconds goes by pretty quick.