Monday, March 5, 2007

Robotics Monday: Lego Rubik's Cube Solver

Name of Model: Rubik's Cube Solver
Created by: JP Brown
Found at:
One of the more famous Lego Mindstorms robots out there is this 'bot that solves Rubik's cubes. Truth be told, this is actually fairly simple - it's just a few Lego Technic arm assemblies with a limited range of motion hooked up to a Lego Vision command set (link coming soon (or in 2010 when I realize that this still says "link coming soon" - oops!)). Maybe it's the beauty of the simple design that makes it so exciting, but it might also be the fact that so few of us have three Lego Technic turntables. Granted, it takes a certain amount of computing skill and perseverance to get the program going, and it can be hard to track down the proper parts for this sort of thing, but the mechanics and building-related part of the deal isn't that difficult. The programming was done in Visual Basic. Let's be honest though - most people can't solve Rubik's cubes easily and are fascinated by the robot's ability to solve them.

Sadly, some cheating was used to make the Rubik's cube easier to manipulate. However, this wouldn't have been required if older (read: worn-in) cubes had been used.

If you want to know more, thorough documentation of this cool 'bot is available at its webpage.
Just a quick housekeeping note: today's post was titled "Robotics Monday" because I plan on only featuring Lego Mindstorms-based material on Mondays. So if you don't like Lego robotics, you can skip this blog on Monday, or if you only like robotics, you can make a point to only read on Mondays. I'm hoping to feature a variety of models here, and this is just a way of making sure that this blog doesn't get overrun with Lego Mindstorms stuff. Feel free to let me know what you think of this in the comments, or you can send an e-mail to

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