Tech by VICE

Watch This Robot Solve a Rubik’s Cube in Less Than a Second

The machines want our games as well as our jobs.

by Matthew Gault
Nov 12 2016, 6:00pm

Sub 1 Reloaded before the event. Image: Infineon Technologies AG/ YouTube

The fastest human with the most dexterous hands can solve a Rubik's cube in 4.74 seconds. There's a few different tricks and strategies puzzlers use to solve a cube that fast. One strategy even claims people can get through any scrambled cube in under 20 moves.

But robots don't need tricks, and new machine from German superconductor company Infineon Technologies can blow through a Rubik's cube in just 0.637 seconds. That's right, this machine can solve a cube in under a second.

Humans have long tasked robots with the humiliating task of solving a Rubik's cube and the previous year has seen an unprecedented increase in quick cube solving tech. Back in January, two guys set a the record for a machine-solved cube at 1.047 seconds. A few months later, another machine blew that record away with 0.89 seconds.

At 0.637 seconds, Infineon's Sub 1 Reloaded shattered all previous records. It's design isn't much different from the previous robots, but it's got a much better brain. Several cameras watch the cube, a computer determines the best path to victory and six motorized arms twist the cube until it's solved.

What sets the Sub 1 Reloaded apart is its fancy new AURIX microcontroller. Infineon designed the AURIX for use in self-driving cars but slapped one into the Sub 1 to show off the microprocessor gives computers reaction time far above human capabilities.

Infineon wants to prove to consumers that the AURIX is quick enough that it can keep passengers safe when a machine is behind the wheel of their car.

Correction: This article previously stated that the record for the fastest time someone solved a Rubik's cube was 4.9 seconds. That record has since been broken, and currently stands at 4.74 seconds.