It’s literally faster than a speeding bullet.

Since the dawn of humanity, we have strived to put nine squares of the same color onto a single side of a cube, which was really difficult prior to 1974 when the Rubik’s Cube was invented. But once that happened it became a race to accomplish it ever faster and more stylishly which has culminated in TOKUFASTbot by Mitsubishi Electric.

This robot connects a servo motor to each side of the cube, capable of turning 90 degrees in 0.009 seconds. It’s also highly responsive to an AI color-identifying algorithm to solve the cube in record time.

The above video demonstration shows a cube being solved in 0.204 seconds, but when Guinness World Records was called in to judge an attempt to break the existing record of 0.38 seconds different standards were set. As a result, TOKUFASTbot earned an official fastest time of 0.305 seconds which still handily beat the previous record.

A video of the record-breaking run

While the machine is extremely impressive, online comments were equally astounded by the cube which could withstand such fast turning.

“They must have put a lot of oil on that cube.”
“Anything faster than this will require ways of reducing friction in the cube.”
“I’ve come to terms with the fact I’ll never solve one in my lifetime.”
“So, what can they do with this?”
“Precise motor control is the backbone of manufacturing.”
“It’s a little faster than me.”
“It must be difficult to turn 90 degrees that fast and stop in exactly the right place.”
“They must have broken a lot of Rubik’s Cubes to get to this point.”

According to Guinness, the first attempt was thwarted by a cube jam, and judging by the video there doesn’t seem to be any of the rounded corners one might find on a speed cube used by competitive cubers. On the other hand, the official record is called “Fastest Robot to Solve a Puzzle Cube” which suggests a branded Rubik’s Cube may not have been used.

Mitsubishi also released a series of short videos comparing the speed of their machine to everyday instantaneous occurrences like a coffee spilling or soap bubble popping.

It would be nice to know the cube specs, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is quite an accomplishment. I especially find its elegant precision rather soothing to watch. If they made a less noisy and more compact version of that machine that would periodically change the color patterns I’d consider getting one for my boudoir or conservatory. 

Source: Mitsubishi Electric, Guinness World Records, My Game News Flash
Featured image: Mitsubishi Electric
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