RuBot II

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RuBot II at Maker Faire UK 2010

RuBot II is a Rubik's Cube solving robot developed by Irish roboticist and inventor Pete Redmond.[1] RuBot II was formerly the world's fastest Rubik's Cube-solving robot,[2] and appeared as such in the 2010 Guinness Book of World Records,[3] although its best time has since been well surpassed by a robot called Ruby built at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia in 2011.[4]

Pete Redmond has stated that although the robot was built for entertainment, the science behind it can be practically useful. The technology that helps the RuBot to see can also be used in other robots in places where it might not be safe to send people, like nuclear disaster zones, where a robot can be sent in to see and make independent decisions.[5]

There are numerous YouTube videos of Rubot working on Rubik's Cubes, and its makers have given him some 'human' qualities, such as conversation to make these more entertaining.[6]

Working[edit]

The robot can easily pick up and solve the Rubik's Cube puzzle game in an interactive way. In a typical run, the robot is given a Rubik's Cube scrambled by a human. It then grabs the cube and hoists it up to eye camera level, where it scans and records the configurations on all faces of the cube.[7] The input configurations read by RuBot's cameras are run through Kociemba’s 2 phase algorithm to find a solution with less than 20 moves, the computation normally taking less than one second,[8] and then works with it using its pneumatic arms. It can solve any Rubik's Cube in less than 50 seconds, and has managed it in a record time of 21 seconds. The robot has been nicknamed "The Cubinator".[5]

Creator[edit]

Pete Redmond is from Dublin, Ireland. He has worked as an avioincs engineer for the Irish Air Corps. Pete has degrees in Computer Science and a master's degree in Engineering.[8] His other notable works include Diotoir and Nemesis from the TV show Robot Wars and a combustion engine powered sprinting robot called Ulysses that set a world record on a BBC TV show called Technogames.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=764
  2. ^ Mark Ward (25 March 2010). "Tech Know: Meeting the makers". BBC News. 
  3. ^ Guinness Book of World Records 2010, Guinness World Records, 2010, page 154 on the UK edition
  4. ^ Grubb, Ben (2 June 2011). "Meet Ruby, the record-breaking robot that solves Rubik's Cube". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Robot cracks famous puzzle". BBC News. January 31, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Man Vs Machine (RuBot II)". 
  7. ^ Bill Christensen (11 October 2006). "Robot Grabs and Solves Rubik's Cube". Live Science. 
  8. ^ a b "Mechatrons".  (Official site)
  9. ^ "Technogames Sprint Final".  (Youtube)

External links[edit]