AUSTRALIA: Robot Ruby breaks Rubik's record

The world's fastest Rubik's Cube-solving robot has been developed by students at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. The robot, named Ruby, can solve the scrambled puzzle in just over 10 seconds, including the time taken to scan the initial status of the cube.

It was built from scratch by six students, using base components with the objective of optimising for speed, as their final year project for the double degree in bachelor of engineering (robotics and mechatronics)/bachelor of science (computer science and software engineering).

Ruby works by first scanning each face of a scrambled cube through a web cam. It then uses a software algorithm to develop a solution which is fed to the high-speed robot through a real-time embedded control system.

The students described the robot as "the fusion of a fast computer vision-tracking system, a software implementation of an algorithm and a real-time embedded control system capable of very high precision motor movements and timings". The project was achieved through the integration of the students' expertise in robotics and software engineering

Professor Chris Pilgrim, deputy dean of Swinburne's faculty of information and communication technologies, said the students' combined expertise in robotics and software engineering enabled them to construct a robot with a fast computer vision-tracking system capable of very high precision movements and timings.

The team comprised identical twin computer whiz kids David and Richard Bain, Daniel Purvis, Jarrod Boyes, Miriam Parkinson and Jonathan Goldwasser. They students are applying to have Ruby's Rubik's-solving skill recognised by Guinness World Records. The current human world record for single time on a 3×3×3 Rubik's Cube is held by Feliks Zemdegs who had a best time of 6.24 seconds at the Kubaroo Open 2011.

As at October 2010, the world's fastest Rubik's Cube solving robot, the Cubinator, was able to solve a scrambled Rubik's Cube in 18.2 seconds.

Ruby the Robot can be seen in action completing a Rubik's Cube in 10.69 seconds here.