Despite being invented some 45 years ago, the Rubik’s Cube is still an object of fascination — as well as extreme frustration — for many folks around the world.
YouTuber Human Controller, for one, clearly has a deep and lasting interest in the puzzle, creating what must be the coolest version of the toy to date.
Why? Because it solves itself. In mid-air.
Human Controller first hit our radar last year when he posted a video of a Rubik’s Cube solving itself as he held it in his hand. It appears that this latest version features a very similar design, but now includes magnets that enable it to levitate.
The video shows the cube being manually rotated out of position before being placed carefully above a surface. As it floats in mid-air, the cube begins to turn, solving itself in under a minute.
Human Controller’s self-solving Rubik’s Cube features a custom 3D-printed core and is powered by a series of servo motors. Its smarts, which essentially work to retrace the rotations that were performed before it starts, come courtesy of an Arduino board.
A blog post by the Japanese creator includes photos of the inner parts of one of his early cubes. They offer a peek at the electronics and other components that power the puzzle, all of which have to be packed into a tiny space so that the cube can retain its original size. There’s also a video showing the bare-bones version in action.
OK, it’s not the fastest, but …
For sure, Human Controller’s Rubik’s Cube doesn’t win any medals for speed, but it surely takes gold for its sheer brilliance.
The record time for solving the puzzle is an incredible 0.38 seconds, achieved by a robot created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology robotics student Ben Katz and software developer Jared Di Carlo in 2018.
The fastest completion time by a human is a no-less-astonishing 3.47 seconds, performed by China’s Du Yusheng, also in 2018.
The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian architect Erno Rubik, though it wasn’t until 1980, when Ideal Toy Company licensed the puzzle, that it really started to get a name for itself. It’s estimated to have sold more than 350 million units globally, making it the most successful toy ever.