The Cubestormer 3 took 18 months to build but needed only 3.253 seconds to solve the Rubik’s Cube, breaking the existing record.
Unveiled at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, England, the Cubestormer 3 is constructed from the modular children’s building-block toy but uses a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone with a special ARM chip addition as its brain. It analyzes the muddled-up Rubik’s Cube and powers each of the robot’s four “hands,” which spin the cube until all sides are in order.
Created by ARM engineer David Gilday and Securi-Plex security systems engineer Mike Dobson, Cubestormer 3’s new record shaves just over two seconds off the existing record, set by Cubestormer 2, which the pair also built.
“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 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.”
As well as setting a new record for solving the standard Rubik’s Cube, two other Gilday-built smartphone-powered machines set new times for solving a 4×4×4 cube—the MultiCuber 3, which managed 1 minute, 18.68 seconds—and for completing the fiendishly difficult 9×9×9 cube—the MultiCuber 999, which set a new standard at 34 minutes, 25.89 seconds.