Fun Stuff

0.38: time in seconds a robot takes to solve the Rubik’s Cube

"MIT Robot Breaks Rubik’s Cube Record:" Image grab from video below
"MIT Robot Breaks Rubik’s Cube Record:" Image grab from video below

I’ve seen the future and it’s no fun: robots equipped with AI and all sorts of neat technology beat us in all fields, even in solving the Rubik’s Cube. I remember learning to solve the Rubik’s Cube way back when the toy just came out: You just had to recognize what colors were at the edges and corners and solve the cube one layer at a time. It didn’t take any intelligence at all: just follow the algorithm.

Now, there are many robots built to solve the Rubik’s Cube. Turns out that in 2016, a robot broke the world record and solved the cube under 1 second, in exactly 0.637 seconds.

Well, MIT Mechanical engineering graduate student Ben Katz and third-year electrical engineering and computer science major Jared Di Carlo thought it was time to build a faster one. Their robot took just 0.38 seconds to solve the Rubik’s Cube, literally in the blink of an eye. In fact, blink and you missed it! It’s all over before your eyes even register the event. You have to slow the video down to 0.03x the actual speed to be able to follow the moves.

Is it not enough that robots are faster and stronger than we are, do we also want to equip them with AI without any ethical constraint?