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Robot solves Rubik’s cube, sets new Guinness world record

Berlin: A new Guinness World Record has been set in Germany for the fastest-solved Rubik’s cube by a robot, which unscrambled the puzzle in just 0.637 seconds with 21 moves.

The Sub1 Reloaded beat a previous record of 0.887 seconds, which was achieved by an earlier version of the same machine using a different processor. German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies, which staged the record attempt at the Electronica trade fair in Munich, provided the chip to highlight advancements in self-driving car tech. Within a fraction of a second of the robot’s camera senses being lifted, it finds the solution and the six mechanical arms unscramble the puzzle perfectly in 21 moves.

It was only afterwards that the number of moves could be counted by checking a software readout. Guinness World Records carefully reviewed the evidence, including ensuring that the cube and the pre-scrambling met all WCA standards, before confirming the new record. The computer receives two pictures of the cube, identifies the color of each piece and calculates a solution with Tom Rokicki’s extremely fast implementation of Herbert Kociemba’s Two-Phase Algorithm.

The solution is then handed over to an Arduino-compatible Infineon AURIX microcontroller board which orchestrates the 21 moves of six high performance steppers, to turn each side of the cube. A special “speed cube” – designed to have less friction between its parts than the original version of the toy – was used to help keep the time to a minimum.

“We used this as a metaphor to show how digital systems are constructed,” said the German company’s spokesman Gregor Rodehueser. “We want to show that problems can be solved much more efficiently using microelectronics,” Rodehueser was quoted as saying by ‘BBC News’. “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,” he said. By contrast, the official Rubik’s Cube record for a human is 4.904 seconds, which was set by a 14-year-old boy in 2015.