Software developer Jared Di Carlo and MIT Biometrics Lab Master's student Ben Katz have created a robot which is capable of solving the Rubik's Cube in less than half a second. The robot has shown it's superiority over humans by solving a 3x3 square Rubik's Cube in just .38 seconds. You can watch a video of the robot solving the Cube below.
Humans have progressed slowly on the time that it takes to solve a Rubik's Cube with the most recent record holder, SeungBeom Cho solving the Cube in 4.59 seconds, which feels like an eternity by comparison. You can watch the video below.
Di Carlo and Katz's robot was not the first to solve a Rubik's Cube. There was another robot made by Infineon Technologies called Sub1 Reloaded which was able to solve it in .63 seconds. The video of that robot is below.
The robot created by Di Carlo and Katz uses six ServoDisc U-9 series motors, six motor drivers, two PlayStation Eye webcams, and a Rubik's Cube.
In a blog post, Katz mentions the robot is actually not even running at full capacity, leaving the possibility of a faster solve open.
The machine can definitely go faster, but the turning process is really time consuming since debugging needs to be done with the high speed camera, and mistakes often break the cube of blow up FETs
The team implemented an algorithm which uses a PlayStation 3 Eye Webcam to detect the cube's colors and come up with possible solutions before it makes its next move. Di Carlo wrote the entire color detection process to take just 45 milliseconds, and most of that time was taken by the drivers of the webcam.
You can find the source code for the project on GitHub here.