Rubik’s Cube for the blind

Check out this Rubik’s Cube for the blind. The idea didn’t start off as an accessibility hack, but instead as a way for [Brian Doom] to figure out where the face of each cube goes when manipulating the puzzle. It gave him tactile feedback and his ability to use it in dim lighting was when it dawned on him that this could be useful to others.

Now when we first thought of a puzzle for the blind the term ‘Braille’ immediately jumped to mind. But this doesn’t use it. That’s great, because not all visually impaired people can understand Braille. Instead, this uses dimension and texture to identify each of the puzzle faces. There are mushroom-shaped knobs, Phillips screws, adhesive rubber bumpers, raised text label maker labels, and a few other items that go along with each color. This doesn’t prevent those with sight from playing either. It’s something of one Rubik’s cube for all. Well, all except for the robots made to solve a stock cube.

[via Dvice]


  1. jeditalian says:

    would be awesome to implant some sort of high voltage shock-the-shit-out-of-you device that uses the screws for electrodes

  2. Hirudinea says:

    Looks kinda point for the kids, how about using things like carpet samples, sandpaper, leather, velcro, etc… to keep it from being a weapon.

    • bandit says:

      Anything can be a weapon – teach your children well (so they can create a weapon when needed :^).

      Seriously: I taught my son proper knife handling when he was 4. Too many kids are too insulated from the real world. A few scars and bang-ups are going to teach them what to do and not do. They need room to make reasonable mistakes.

      Otherwise, they will never learn how to use tools (hint: *teach* them), and become makers.

      A friend made one of these with a dymo labeler in th early 80’s because he was getting bored and wanted to pretend he was blind. The labels worked fine.

    • Jason says:

      I made a rubiks cube like this a few years ago and used sticky backed felt pads, and different shaped rubber pads. It worked great and was really easy to build. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hirudinea says:

    point should be pointy.

  4. Chris C. says:

    It’s a good idea. But the screws sticking out of it make me think of Pinhead, and therefore I consider this a Hellraiser Cube. The Caecus Configuration, perhaps?

  5. Joe C says:

    I like this a lot. One time I was in a “secret santa” thing and I ended up giving a blind guy a rubik’s cube. It didn’t go over very well.

  6. roboman2444 says:

    I wonder what the record rubics cube solve is for a blind or otherwise visually impaired man.

  7. Jack Buffington says:

    My friend’s dad was blind and had a rubik’s cube that had some sort of thick paint on the squares in different shapes. I think that it must have been a puff paint or something like that from the craft store. It obviously worked for him because I would often jumble the cube when I saw it and then next time I came by, it would be solved again.

  8. beaglebreath says:

    I was surfing, got bored switched to hackaday only to see this. Thought for a moment I was on the same site…

  9. TacticalNinja says:

    There was a similar post back, but they only used different textures(which is better), instead of things sticking out like that.

  10. slowJim says:

    It’s a clever idea – but like others have said, it could probably be improved slightly. Very nice project :)

    Anyone know why HaD has been so quiet the last few days? Is the internet running out of projects or is HaD worry to publish the lesser ones because of people screaming THIS ISN’T A HACK ?

  11. Mental2k says:

    Pretty sure Braille tiles have existed for a while. As for people who can’t read Braille, why would that be an issue? Aside from the fact you can learn basic Braille characters in an afternoon, most people can tell the difference between 1 dot and 2 etc not even needing proper Braille!

    That being said the hack looks well enough executed and fair play to whoever did it. For a whole world of rubik’s cube hacks check out

  12. MrTaco says:

    There’s kind of a thing like this officially.

    My sister got me one as a present a while back, after showing her a video and thinking it was awesome. Eventually I wondered if I could do it with my eyes closed… takes a fair while, I think my best was somewhere around the 5min mark. Definitely not as easy to feel as this one would be though :P

  13. kade says:

    with a bit of bronze spraypaint this would be claimed by steampunks as their own :)

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