When future generations will remember 2018, what will they remember? Not much, I suppose, other than this extraordinary robot that can solve a Rubik's cube in 0.38 seconds. The video, above, shows the cube in an unresolved position, then the actuators jump into action, slamming squares into place as some kind of crazy version of Will Smith's character in The Pursuit of Happyness .
Created by Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo, the project uses a set of 6 Kollmorgen ServoDisc U9 engines and 2 Playstation Eye cameras. The craft reads the cube, resolves it, then slams it in a few seconds.
The team also used a unique ET card that ensured that each engine turned on and shut down independently, a necessary feature to ensure that the engine did not shut down. not explode if the motors had to be operated at the same time. He then uses the min2phase algorithm to solve the cube in about 21 moves. They could even make it slightly faster with a little tweaking.
And lo and behold: the technical feat of 2018. As someone who grew up so frustrated with my Rubik's Cube that I removed the stickers and told my mom that I solved it myself, hat to Katz and Di Carlo. Now, Elon Musk must just solve a Rubik's cube in space to crown an already exciting year.
This bonus video features a exploding cube at mid-resolution: