Innovation is a lot like love, everyone knows when it happens, but nobody really knows what it is - Dean 'Mr Segway' Kamen
A ROBOT MADE FROM LEGO PARTS and powered by an ARM chip has smashed the world record for solving a Rubik's Cube with a time of 3.253 seconds.
Dramatically named the "Cubestormer 3", the puzzle solving machine is made of Lego Mindstorms customisable and programmable robot building kits and powered by an ARM processor in a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.
The robot started final testing on Thursday before it attempted to break the Guinness World Record title at the Big Bang Fair held at the NEC in Birmingham, UK on Saturday, smashing the previous record of 5.27 seconds, set just over two years ago by its predecessor, the Cubestormer 2.
Watch the puzzle solving machine smash the record in the video below.
The processor analyses the cube and instructs four robotic hands to do the manipulations, while eight Lego Mindstorms EV3 bricks perform the motor sequencing and control.
The Cubestormer 3 is an update to the Galaxy S2 powered Cubestormer 2 built by two designers - ARM principal engineer David Gilday and Securi-Plex security systems engineer Mike Dobson.
On Thursday, ARM exec Dominic Vergine said the firm was "very confident" that the robot would break the record because it is "three times faster" than its older brother.
"The older robot was using intelligence from a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 based Samsung Electronics' Exynos 4 Dual application processor in a Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone," he said. "Cubestormer 3 will use a Galaxy S4 equipped with an Exynos 5 Octa application processor with an eight-core ARM Big.little implementation featuring four Cortex A15 and four Cortex-A7 processors."
The robot apparently took over 18 months to build and has some new features, such as upgraded mechanics including a precision independent braking system that is said to make it faster. ARM said that the software has also been optimised to take advantage of the robot's increased mechanical flexibility as well as its higher computing power.
"The record-breaking attempt is a bit of fun for us," said David Gilday. "Our real focus is to demonstrate what can be achieved with readily available technology to inspire young minds into taking a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
It seems that Lego is all the rage at the moment. Just earlier this week, a fully functioning keyboard built using the popular construction toy came to our attention, shown off by an inventor that had taken nine years to build it.
The keyboard makes good use of Lego, with comically themed bricks that match the functions of certain keys. The caps lock button is our favourite, which uses a Lego man's cap stuck on top of a brick with a padlock picture printed on it, while the Home button has a house roof brick on it. µ
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