What Can YOU Solve In Under a Second?

Oh yes, it’s Rubik’s Cube time once again.

Every time I think I’ve seen everything someone can do with a Rubik’s Cube, a month or two later, another amazing video appears on the Internet, proving me wrong.

We’ve covered Rubik’s Cubes a lot on this blog. We’ve seen them solved underwater, while being juggled, during a skydive, and yes, we’ve seen them solved in increasing faster times.

As of last year, the record for a robot solving a Rubik’s Cube was .637 seconds. That robot, Sub1, has been the Guinness World Record holder ever since.

Until now, it seems.

That’s a right, a pair of engineers — Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo — have nearly halved that world record with what they call their “Rubik’s Contraption.” This cube-solving bot posts a solving speed of .38 seconds.

Their machine is so fast that they had to program it to only allow one motor to move at a time. You see, in previous runs, more than one motor would try to move, and the cube would be RIPPED APART.

This lightning-fast robot is still waiting review by the team from Guinness, so, for now, Sub1’s record stands.

But for how long?


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It’s Follow-Up Friday: Jenga Edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

For those new to PuzzleNation Blog, Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and update the PuzzleNation audience on how these projects are doing and what these people have been up to in the meantime.

Today, I’d like to revisit our TableTop Day event and ponder the possibilities…

One of the games that received a lot of attention on TableTop Day was Jenga. That’s not surprising, since it’s a classic game, one that’s quick to set up and play.

And I did quite poorly. I lost five out of six games that day. (Though, to be fair, Corin the Puzzle Bear didn’t fare so well, either…)

In the wake of my dismal Jenga performance, one of my fellow puzzlers sent me the following YouTube clip, featuring quite possibly the largest Jenga game ever played:

I must say, that makes me wonder if my Jenga playing might improve if I used a proxy. Not one of these behemoth construction machines, of course, but maybe one of those little robot arms from Radio Shack (like the one pictured at the top of today’s post) could do the job!

Either that or I could bust out one of my old LEGO Technic kits and build my own.

[Picture from Technicopedia.com]

Okay, that’ll be the plan. Next TableTop Day, I’m bringing a robot arm and a desire for redemption!

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