CuBear, Berkeley’s Rubik’s Cube Solver


A team of five UC Berkeley engineering built this impressive Rubik’s Cube solver. The CuBear is a giant transparent cube with a servo attached to each face to rotate the cube’s six faces. The user can either scramble the cube using computer controls or show the faces of a scrambled cube to the onboard webcam, and the machine will replicate it. While scrambling the cube may take many moves, the computer calculates the shortest number of moves to solve the cube before proceeding. Team member [Dan Dzoan] is quite a fast solver himself, as you can see at the end of BotJunkie’s video embedded below.


10 thoughts on “CuBear, Berkeley’s Rubik’s Cube Solver

  1. oh shit, just finished loading and watching the video. nevermind. yeah, it can beat the human record of 7.08 seconds, lol. and this is an updated version of the one i saw awhile ago, so ignore my last comment

  2. well… it wont cure cancer … thats a fact. and its not like it was fresh news, i mean, rubik cube solver software exist for a freakin long time and electric motors rotating each side of the cube is not like pretty mindblowing. those ingeneers could do better things. in conclusion .. im disapointed by the uselessliness of this hack lol.

  3. Does it really solve the puzzle though?
    Seems to me as though it just remembers the movements it did to get to the state it is in and then just plays the movements in reverse to reach the beginning.

    I’d like to see a pre-mixed cube put in and see if it could solve it.

  4. @md: Useful or not, it is an interesting project, and i think that is enough justification. they took an idea that had been done before and gave it a professional implementation, along with a couple new features (like mimicking the cube it saw on a webcam). not all projects have to cure cancer, hacking is all about exploring and having a playful curiousity. why did we climb everest? because it was there.

  5. It’s a rough estimate based on the Youtube time counter, and pausing and restarting… but I count

    26 seconds for the scanning of the faces
    27 seconds for the robot to scramble the cube
    07 seconds to reverse the scramble to “solve”
    Total (WITHOUT human assistance included): 60s
    Total (WITH human assistance mind you): 124s

    For the human at the end, I count

    15 seconds to solve.

    It COULD be assumed, if everything is on the up and up that:
    A) The “robot” is actually solving the cube, and not repeating the steps it took to scramble
    B) That the human doesn’t have some sort of “Savant Syndrome” that allows him to remember the steps he took to scramble the cube, and reverse them.
    C) That condition A & B are simultaneously true, thus the scanning and scrambling steps should be eliminated from the robot’s time consideration since the human was working with a pre-scrambled cube.

    Those assumptions, of coarse, are debatable.
    Interpret as you please.

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