Give up, humanity. This robot can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 1 second

There’s a new arms race going on in the world, and this one involves robots. Much less high-stakes and far more entertaining than the Cold War, this supercharged and super-fast competition involves a bunch of robot makers and a bunch of Rubik’s cubes. The goal? The fastest time. The prize? Eternal pride.

Just last month, we told you about a robot that managed to solve a Rubik’s cube in less than a second, a feat that is already pretty damn impressive. But in today’s world, records are broken every day, and it looks like the bot created by software engineers Jay Flatland and Paul Rose already has some serious competition.

Another machine called the Sub1, the product of industrial engineer and economist Adam Beer, is apparently in contention for the title of fastest Rubik’s cube solver. In fact, Beer claims that the Sub1 actually managed to crash through the 1 second barrier before Flatland and Rose did, though that claim has yet to be verified.

Regardless of who got under 1 second first, Beer is now laying claim to the more important achievement — the fastest solution. While the previous record stood at 0.9 seconds, Beer’s Sub1 has managed to squeeze in a time just 0.003 seconds faster at 0.887 seconds. The most impressive part? The robot managed to make 20 moves in that time.

According to Beer, Sub1 used a World Cube Association-conform modified speed cube that was randomly scrambled by a computer array, then placed in ready position for the robot. Like Flatland and Rose’s robot, Sub1 then analyzed the sides of the cube with two webcams, and subsequently created a solution using “Tomas Rokicki’s implementation of Herbert Kociemba’s two-phase algorithm.”

Then, the solution was sent to an Arduino-compatible microcontroller board that launched six extremely high-performance steppers into lightning-fast motion. And just under 0.9 seconds later, Beer says he had a new world record.

To be fair, the folks over at the Guinness Book of World Records have yet to verify this claim, but Beer says he is in the process of preparing his submission for official review. But who knows — maybe someone else will have gotten faster by the time all the paperwork is in place.

Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Computing

Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier module is designed to give robots better brains

Nvidia's pricey Jetson AGX Xavier might help drive the next generation of smart robots. Nvidia hopes that developers will use its new Xavier module to power AI-driven machines like delivery drones and robots used in manufacturing.
Gaming

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in 'Destiny 2'? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.