A robot has successfully managed to complete a scrambled Rubik’s Cube in just 637 milliseconds, proving that in some ways, robots definitely are more intelligent than humans.
The Sub1 Reloaded robot was developed by chipmaker Infineon – a company that is fast becoming a leader in automated car technology. It was built to demonstrate the lightning fast reaction times of the ship – something that will need to be a key consideration of self driving vehicles if they are to avoid crashes.
Developing the technology was quite a feat – not only to ensure the robot could handle to processing on the task, but also so it could physically move the cube into the correct configuration. To do this, a computer scans the cube to solve it virtually, then it uses six motors to turn and twist the cube into position.
“The hardest part is in processing the sensory information and trying to work out whether it is a situation that requires braking or swerving or ignoring,” said Professor Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield.
“It is a bit like asking Sub1 if it is a Rubik’s Cube in front of it or a pile of biscuits that needs to be crumbled for the base of a cheesecake.”
To date, the word record for completing a Rubik’s Cube by a human is 4.9 seconds, so the Sub1 robot is definitely smarter than us humans when it comes to solving complex problems.
Although it’s not clear which cars the technology behind Sub1 will be integrated into, we can definitely say we’d be happy to hitch a ride in a vehicle that can react this fast to dangers ahead, whether there was a driver or not.