DailyDirt: How Quickly Can You Solve A Rubik's Cube?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The original Rubik's cube puzzle was invented in 1974, but there were similar puzzles made before -- such as a 2x2x2 cube puzzle and a spherical 3x3x3 puzzle. The patents for these toys have expired, but people playing with these puzzles are still going strong. Speedcubing or speedsolving is a competitive sport, and there are variations on the activity to solve it blindfolded or with feet only or with just one hand. If you have a scrambled Rubik's cube sitting in drawer somewhere, maybe you'll be able to buy a robot to solve it for you soon. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Filed Under: cubestormer 3, god's number, guinness world record, lucas etter, puzzles, robotics, rubik's cube, speedcuber, speedcubing, speedsolving, toys


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 5:13pm

    how does the official scrambling work?

    Shuffling cards more than 7 times is "good enough" for casinos... but how much cube scrambling is enough for breaking the world record?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Stewy, 4 Mar 2016 @ 5:38pm

      Re: how does the official scrambling work?

      Scrambles are generated by a program called TNoodle, it generates what are called "random-state scrambles", usually made up of around 20 moves

      in comparison to the 7x shuffle idea for casinos, scrambling a cube with 20 or so moves is considered "good enough" if you're hand-scrambling, although solves in competition are always computer-generated

      any cube permutation can be solved optimally in 20 moves or fewer, in case you were wondering why 20 seems to be the recurring number

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stewy, 4 Mar 2016 @ 5:41pm

    >The fastest machine for solving a Rubik's cube can currently do it in less than 2 seconds.

    to be more precise, it's less than 1 second

    > How fast can anyone or anything rotate a face of a Rubik's cube? Multiply that time by 20 (though maybe there's a way to rotate multiple faces simultaneously) or so.

    that's a totally wrong way to think about it. first off, human methods take around 50-55 moves to solve a cube on average, humans aren't capable of 20-moves-or-fewer optimal solutions

    also there are pauses made in a solve, so that would need to be factored in as well

    >The minimum number of turns required to solve a cube from an arbitrary starting position is known as "God's number" by some folks, and it was established to be 20 turns in 2010.

    i had a bit of a laugh at this, you meant to say "maximum", not minimum, as the minimum amount of moves it'd take to solve a cube state would be 0 or 1 lol

    to answer the original question, i average around 11 seconds

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ryuugami, 4 Mar 2016 @ 7:53pm

      Re:

      >The minimum number of turns required to solve a cube from an arbitrary starting position is known as "God's number" by some folks, and it was established to be 20 turns in 2010.

      i had a bit of a laugh at this, you meant to say "maximum", not minimum, as the minimum amount of moves it'd take to solve a cube state would be 0 or 1 lol


      No, maximum would be infinity. Minimum is correct. The key word is "arbitrary", which in mathematics means that it applies to each and every one of the starting positions. You can't pick the best case.

      You could restate that as "any starting position requires no more than 20 moves to solve". If you have 20 moves allowed, you can solve any starting position. If you have only 19 or less moves, there are some you can solve and some you can't solve.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:46pm

        Re: No, maximum would be infinity

        No, the maximum is 20.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2016 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: No, maximum would be infinity

          Do you not realize you're saying that it's impossible for someone to take more than 20 moves to solve a scrambled cube?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 5 Mar 2016 @ 10:11am

            Re: Re: Re: No, maximum would be infinity

            He's saying that mathematically speaking, any cube scramble can be solved in 20 moves or less, not that it's impossible to make any number of unproductive moves you like on the way to the solution.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 5 Mar 2016 @ 12:35pm

            Re: No, maximum would be infinity

            The key point being the number of moves required.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    br0adband (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 6:50pm

    My personal best is 26 seconds give or take a half second and that was done with rather primitive basic solving methodology (was even published in a very tiny booklet, "The Simple Solution to Rubik's Cube") and that was way back in the very very early 1980s.

    These days with the vastly improved solutions I could probably do much better considering improvements in many things, including the improved construction of "speed cubes" which are much easier to spin and manipulate.

    I had an original Rubik's Cube in those days, used some Vaseline to keep it smooth and loosened it up just a tad. I can still solve one pretty quickly with a few days of practice, consistently under 40 seconds but not quite down in the mid-20's anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 4 Mar 2016 @ 10:36pm

    I was never able to solve Rubik's cube on my own. I did memorize a solution out of a book though. It usually took me around 2-3 minutes to solve using those routines.

    I also memorized how to solve Rubik's Revenge, which was a 4x4x4 cube. This wasn't as easy as it sounds because not only were the sequences of movements longer, the ones for moving the center squares on each face didn't work as published! They worked, but didn't move the squares indicated in the book, so anyone trying to follow the solution just ended up frustrated. I was one of those people and got so frustrated that I tore the book apart in anger! When I calmed down I took the cube apart and put it back together solved, then tried the sequences on the solved cube. This allowed me to see what they did and from there I was able to correct the mistakes in the book.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 5 Mar 2016 @ 9:11am

    My best time

    I solved one in about 3 months once.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Toom1275, 5 Mar 2016 @ 10:13am

    I can do a regular 3x3 in about 1:30-1:45 with about 100 moves
    4x4x4 takes about 6 minutes
    5x5x5 takes about 10 minutes
    7x7x7 30-45 minutes

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Mar 2016 @ 11:01am

    God's Number was actually 18 before Metron did it in 17 moves and Batman shot Darkseid, essentially rewriting all of reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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