SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Kevin Benedict, Jason Bloomberg, Bob Gourley, Greg Schulz, Don Nelson

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ARM-Powered® Robot Breaks World Speed Record For Solving A Rubik’s Cube At UK’s Big Bang Fair 2014

The CUBESTORMER 3 robot which uses ARM® processor technology has smashed the Guinness World Record™ title for solving a Rubik’s® Cube, recording a time of 3.253 seconds at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK, today. It is the fastest-ever time set by a robot for the completion of a Rubik’s cube and the result of 18 months of effort by co-inventors David Gilday and Mike Dobson who worked on the project in their spare time.

Image courtesy of ARM

Image courtesy of ARM

The new record beats the existing time of 5.27 seconds set two years by the same team. David Gilday is a principle engineer at ARM, the world’s leading processor design company based in Cambridge, and co-inventor Mike Dobson, a security systems engineer for Securi-Plex.

“We knew CUBESTORMER 3 had the potential to beat the existing record but with the robot performing physical operations quicker than the human eye can see there’s always an element of risk,” said David Gilday. “In the end, the hours we spent perfecting the robot and ensuring its motor and intelligence functions were properly synchronized paid off. Our big challenge now is working out if it’s possible to make it go even faster.”

The record-breaking robot employs intelligence from a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone powered by an Exynos 5 Octa application processor with an eight-core ARM big.LITTLE™ implementation featuring four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 processors. The phone analyzes the cube, calculates the correct sequence of moves and instructs four robotic hands to do the manipulations. ARM9™ processors also power the eight LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 bricks which perform the motor sequencing and control.

David Gilday added: “ The robot demonstrates just how fast a Samsung Galaxy S4 can think. As well as working out the solution, the ARM-powered Exynos processor has to instruct the robot to carry out the moves. This is more complex than it seems because CUBESTORMER 3 uses a speed cube which allows twists before the sides are fully-aligned. It means the robot is effectively mirroring the same kind of judgement and dexterity that a human speed cuber has to apply. ”

Additional features include a precision independent braking system that delivers significant speed benefits and software optimized to take advantage of this increased mechanical flexibility and the compute power gains.

Alongside the fastest robot to complete a Rubik’s Cube attempt, David Gilday also set two further world records with other ARM-based robots he designed:

  • The quickest completion of a 4x4x4 cube using a MultiCuber 3 robot based on a Huawei® Ascend P6 smartphone with a Hisilicon K3V2E processor. Record set: 1 minute 18.68 seconds;
  • The largest Rubik's Cube solved by a robot, set with a 9x9x9 cube by a MultiCuber 999 robot based on a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone powered by an Exynos 4 Quad application processor. The number of solution possibilities ran to 278 digits and the robot recorded a time of 34 minutes 25.89 seconds.

Video and stills

Materials should be credited ‘Courtesy of ARM’

Video and stills of records set today at Big Bang Fair at https://www.dropbox.com/home/ARM_CS3

Film of CUBESTORMER 3 training at http://www.youtube.com/user/ARMflix

Notes to Editors

ARM supports the Big Bang Fair as part of a series of planned engagements aimed at encouraging young people to consider a career in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics-based discipline. Our stand in 2014 will feature experience-based activities giving visitors the chance to program with Raspberry Pi, race robotic ‘Sphero’ balls through a 3D maze and program a real robot with Robotiky.

CUBESTORMER 3 and all of the other devices can be found throughout the Big Bang Fair at ARM’s stand in the Think Digital section – stand number TD15.

Previous Guinness World Record set by CubeStormer II in November 2011. See the film on the ARMflix channel on YouTube.

About ARM

ARM® is at the heart of the world’s most advanced digital products. Our technology enables the creation of new markets and transformation of industries and society. We design scalable, energy efficient-processors and related technologies to deliver the intelligence in applications ranging from sensors to servers, including smartphones, tablets, enterprise infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

Our innovative technology is licensed by ARM Partners who have shipped more than 50 billion Systems on Chip (SoCs) containing our intellectual property since the company began in 1990. Together with our Connected Community, we are breaking down barriers to innovation for developers, designers and engineers, ensuring a fast, reliable route to market for leading electronics companies. Learn more and join the conversation at http://community.arm.com.

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