Story Time with Uncle Tyson

Cube stories from around the world

Archive for the ‘Anecdote’ Category

The Origin of the Mystery Puzzle

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Author: Tyson Mao

I remember when we first started doing Mystery Puzzles. With the crowd cheering on the stage of the Exploratorium, it was really quite an experience. At the US National Championships 2006, I believe we had 500+ spectators at one point. But how did it all start?

The Sunday Contest
To learn the origin of the Mystery Puzzle, we have to go back a long time ago, back to 2003. Sadly, we now have competitors born after 2003. And that makes me feel a bit old. So back then, we used to use this timer made by Jess Bonde. Jess, of course, set the 3×3 WR single solve of 16.53 at the 2003 World Championship. He had written an online cube timer that provided 25-move scrambles and would calculate an average of 12. This was already the home standard then.

Before my time, there was a Sunday contest run by some French guy. (I think… and I’m not actually sure I remember. So if someone remembers who was running the Sunday contest back then, please let me know.) The idea was that people would do an average of 12 with the posted scrambles, and the results would be posted every Sunday and there would be a winner. This competition had died, but in 2004, I learned an interesting skill: I learned how to access web server spaces on astro.caltech.edu/~tmao and its.caltech.edu/~tmao, and I realized that I could make web pages in MS Word by saving files as HTML and uploading this. So I decided to revive and host the Sunday contest. Results were all e-mailed to me, and I manually edited my MS Word document and uploaded it every week. I did this for a bit, and then Jon Morris offered to take over the process. I figured he was more technologically inclined than I was, so I was more than happy to hand it off.

Caltech Cube Club, Dan Lo, and Ball-in-Cup
In the spring of 2005, a prospective student came to visit Caltech. His name was Daniel Lo, and he was interested in the cube. He was visiting Caltech one week early because he had an orchestra trip during the actual admit weekend at Caltech. I saw Daniel Lo and immediately determined, because I was a junior, soon to be senior in college, that he would be my successor and run cubing at Caltech for the next 3 to 4 years. I invited him along to WC 2005 in Orlando, Florida, and sure enough, I did get a good 3 to 4 years out of him before Caltech was handed off to Ambie Valdés. Dan Lo had started running a bunch of competitions for me, and we were sitting around in my dorm room when I started musing that it would be funny to have a Sunday contest that featured some random puzzle every week, instead of the standard 3x3x3 speedsolve. We could do a 3x3x3 blindfolded Sunday contest, a one-handed Sunday contest…and then the ideas started to get more ridiculous. Beating your roommate with a pillow, running a mile and solving a cube–we were throwing out every crazy idea. Dan Lo then made the comment that the Rubik’s Magic was a silly puzzle, and was in fact not a puzzle at all and had the same complexity of putting a ball in a cup. After all, putting a ball in a cup is the same physical motion every time. We liked the idea, so we found a ping pong ball and started practicing, and I think I got my time to around 0.38 second. The technique, of course, was to throw the ball in the air, stop the timer, and hope that it lands in the cup. This method was terrible for averages but good if you were aiming for the best single.

Ball-in-cup has since spread to other North American competitions. Here’s a video from Toronto Summer Open 2009:

The First Mystery Puzzles
The mystery puzzle idea also started up around US Nationals 2006. The Cubefreak documentary was being filmed at that time, and the producers had made trading cards of us. We all had our own trading card, and it was pretty cool. We eventually started trading with each other (I think I needed an Adam Zamora to complete the collection) and the idea of Pokemon was thrown out. That I could play my Adam Zamora against your Chris Hardwick, and that not only could we play this card game in the back at the competition organization tables, but we could make these battles happen in real life on the stage. So after the first day of the championships, I split our organizers into three teams, and they drafted players. And we started coming up with different events for these players to compete in. Sometimes, I would tell the team captains exactly what the event would be. Other times, they only had a vague idea of what the event would be. Chris Dzoan, at that time, was one of the top one-handed solvers, and I remember his combination with Bob blowing away the entire rest of the field. My brother played his Chris Hardwick and Ryan Patricio card, but they argued over how to approach the team solve (two solvers alternating a single move). It turns out the Chris Dzoan’s strategy of “I do everything and Bob, you do what I tell you to do” was especially quick given that Chris was one-handed solving the cube.

Here are some other memorable mystery puzzles that have been captured on tape.

Caltech Winter 2007 (Exploratorium, SF) Lightning Reaction Extreme

Caltech Fall 2007 Mystery Puzzle

Name that Dzoan
I’ll end with some Dzoan stories. Name That Dzoan was probably one of the dumber Mystery Puzzles that I came up with. Though I would implore the public to give me a break. I’m allowed to come up with one dumb idea every now and then, right?

How I first met Dan Dzoan is a pretty funny story in itself. It must have been Caltech Winter 2006. This new crew of cubers from Berkeley had come, but I hadn’t really met any of them. Winning Moves USA had sent me a crate full of puzzles, so when it came time for awards, I started giving out random prizes. I proceeded to announce the prize for the fastest person who did not make the finals. In other words, you’re the number one loser. Well, you could argue that the number one loser is second place, but okay, roll with me. And coming in 17th place…Dan Dzoan! And out of the audience I heard someone shout, “I KNEW IT!” Dan jumped up, came up on stage, accepted his Rubik’s Snake, and that’s the first time I ever met Dan Dzoan. From there, Dan expressed interest in getting UC Berkeley involved with the WCA, and I expressed interest in expanding the WCA’s activities to other schools.

This picture here captures the first moment I met Dan Dzoan. It’s a beautiful moment.

How Tyson met Dan Dzoan

But now, onto Name That Dzoan. Dan has two siblings, Chris and Brittany, both also cubers. They lived in Fremont, which wasn’t far from me in San Mateo, so when I was home we would get together and hang out. Since there were three of them, and we decided that everyone should know their Dzoans, the Name That Dzoan Mystery Puzzle was born. It was one of those things that was hilarious in my mind, but in actual practice, quite stupid.


The Dzoan stories live on, and when Shotaro Makisumi finally wins that big math prize, I think the world will get to see more Dzoan. There are obviously stories to be told here, but most of them transcend the Mystery Puzzle realm.

Written by macky

October 8, 2011 at 12:17 am

Stefan Pochmann and the Rubik’s Revolution

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Credit: Sven Gowel

Background by Stefan himself:

Great times we had there. US Open 2007 in Chicago, that was in a donut&icecream shop behind the hotel, I think. I had been bashing the revolution online in the previous weeks for being much advertised as a “new and improved Rubik’s cube” when it really didn’t even turn. Even rejected one I was offered as prize for a mystery puzzle. But in the evening, when I got my hands on one, I did like it for what it actually is and came up with more and more methods. I am competitive, after all. This must’ve been method 4b or so. I went on to win its side event at WC2007 with Dror, we both got the maximum score of 999. Then won with 2854 at US2009 (by then they had taught the sound chip to count higher), which got crushed by Toby’s insane 4334 at WC2009. Quite a journey from first hating the thing (and now I have that song in my head again, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” which Dan and others enthusiastically sang in the hotel there… such great times we had).

Written by macky

July 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

The Valentine Cube Incident

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Author: Tyson Mao
Narration: Shotaro Makisumi (macky)

macky: Cubers who were active in early 2005 will probably have heard rumors of this infamous incident at the California Institute of Technology, which involved a certain then-astrophysics major named Tyson Mao. Reproduced below are his posts (linked) on the Yahoo! speedsolvingrubikscube group around Valentine’s Day, 2005.


Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:42 am

Hey Everyone,

I’m either the victim of a really funny prank, or… or else?!?

The Valentine Cube

(On the sheet of paper.)

to feel your hands holding my sides firmly
the same way you grab Rubik’s cube to solve
to let you try your finger tricks on me
and have my will, with lubricant, dissolve

i’d pull the first two layers off myself
’cause that’s the algorithm that i know
but you would need to do the PLL
maybe give the z-permutation a go

after the initial inspection is done
let me know the orientation that you want
i promise that it will be lots of fun
just like your tournaments that i haunt

i yearn for you like you a sub-fifteen
for you’re the best solve i have ever seen

Tyson Mao
MSC #631
California Institute of Technology


Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:33 am

So I was in lab and I came back to my room and it was on my desk. I actually didn’t notice it at first because Macky was in my room using the computer but then suddenly, we realized it was a cube. Then, we realized it wasn’t just a cube, but it was actually a solve state on the cube.

The hand writing is definitely from a girl but it could easily have been a guy’s idea and they asked a girl to write it. Still no idea who did it. When I find out, I’ll put a mug shot of them up or something.

Tyson Mao
MSC #631
California Institute of Technology


On Feb 14, 2005, at 11:47 PM, Terje Kristensen wrote:

> I think it’s very romantic :) Let’s hope it’s not a prank :)
>
> Terje

Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:54 am

Yeah, it would be nice wouldn’t it? To have someone in love with me like that? I went around doing some handwriting analysis. My friend has a burned CD with a message written on it by a girl who lives very close and is good friends with Leyan Lo… so we might be getting somewhere. Of course, it’s still under investigation. I should scan the handwriting sample sometime.

Tyson Mao
MSC #631
California Institute of Technology


Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:47 am

It goes on. I was working on physics today. I left my room (I left the door open) for about 10 minutes and went two doors down the hall. When I came back, a yellow rose was placed on my desk. I’m getting kinda scared now… all my friends so far have denied any involvement with this whatsoever.

Tyson Mao
MSC #631
California Institute of Technology


macky: To this day, the origin of the Valentine cube remains surrounded in mystery. But I can reveal one thing: I was responsible for the yellow rose!

Written by macky

January 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

The Stryker Z

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Author: Lucas Garron

John George and Stryker Langdon are two professional magicians in LA who come to some competitions with the California crew (and also to some Nationals, where they are known for their magic shows). When Stryker was learning PLL, I’m told, he saw Dan Dzoan using a 2-gen alg for the Z-perm, and said “I have to learn that.” He didn’t care how long it was, 2-gen was just that good.

Apparently John George agreed to ask someone for the alg and send it to Stryker. However, when many of the organizers (but not Stryker) were at John’s house after a 2008 DSC competition, he decided to pull a prank on Stryker. He asked if anyone could come up with an extra-long 2-gen alg that he could send to Stryker, pretending it was a good 2-gen alg.

I immediately set to work and used a little trial-and-error to create the following 32-move alg:

U2’RURU’RU2RU’R’U’RUR’U’R’URU’RU’RURU’R’U’R’U’RU’R

I came up with the idea immediately; if you rotate the alg by z’, you can see that it’s actually a sideways 2-gen solve in disguise. It took a while to find a version that obfuscates its actions using proper cancellations:

2x2x1 block: L2’ULUL’UL2UL’
Pair: U’L’UL
WV: U’L’U’LUL’U
U-perm: L’ULUL’U’L’U’L’UL’U

The alg was written down, tested by Adam Zamora (?), and summarily emailed to Stryker. He wanted an awesome 2-gen alg; he got one.

Most of this process was caught in the audio background of this YouTube video.

Aftermath
Stryker was a little reluctant to learn the alg. It seemed nice, but longer than he thought it looked.
So, here’s what we did: I practiced the alg a lot, and filmed a short video of me executing the alg in about 3 seconds, which John sent to Stryker. He explained that Lucas *even took the time to make a video* just for him, and it would be impolite not to learn it.

I don’t know how it went from there, but eventually Stryker found out that this was not a real Z-perm that we use, and learned a shorter one. However, he also learned that this joke alg had now entered folklore as the “Stryker Z,” so he actually took the time and learned all 32 moves. He showed it to me at another DSC competition, and was even wearing a shirt with the Stryker Z that Ambie had printed for him.

Stryker wearing the Striker Z shirt

And that’s how the world’s most infamous and obnoxiously long alg came to be.

P.S.: At Joey’s request, I later created the Gouly U, but it was never posted on the internet and my computer lost the log files where I had written it down. But I can’t just make up a new one, so it seems to have been sent to the same place as unwanted Turing machine tape and forgotten lambdas.

P.P.S.: There’s also a picture of John and me with 8 large cubes. We were helping him re-sticker that night, and that’s why Andrew and Adam were trying BLD in the video.

John George and Lucas Garron with 8 Large Cubes

Written by macky

December 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Anecdote

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Meeting THE Breandan Vallance

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Author: Anthony Brooks

It hadn’t even been a year since I had first solved the cube, but I already couldn’t imagine life without it. When I found out that my family was going to visit my uncle in Monaco during Spring Break ’09, I practically sprinted to the computer. Minutes later, after verifying that the French Open was going to take place while we were in Europe, I had already laid out an entire “game plan” to my brothers as to how we were going to convince our mother to take a detour to Paris. Even after executing my plan to perfection, it took relentless begging to convince our mother to commit, but eventually she conceded and as soon as she began making arrangements, we began practicing.

Now to put things in perspective, at the time, Yu Nakajima was the 3×3 world record holder and sub 12 was the current sub 10. Breandan Vallance, however, was still a relative unknown outside of the UK. Sure, he was ranked in the top 40, but then again, many of today’s active cubers don’t even know who Kanneti Sae Han is (but that’s another story…). As the competition drew nearer, Breandan became a hot topic on the forum as people began realizing how fast he was (particularly at PLL). When I checked the website one day and noticed that his name was added to the “registered competitors list”, my brother and I flipped out. We were going to get to meet THE Breandan Vallance.

Several weeks later, totally jet-lagged after getting off the plane in Paris, we all headed straight to the hotel for a much needed nap. Upon arrival, we were too exhausted to even cube in the lobby as our mom checked us in. However, a sudden surge of energy appeared when we heard familiar clicking sounds emerging from around the corner. I didn’t know who the first few visible people were (The Hungarian group), but as I saw a kid with long, curly hair turning the cube unbelievably fast, a chill ran through my body. As they proceeded to walk out of the lobby, THAT guy noticed me staring and gave a polite smile and wave as he departed. When I turned around, pale and out of breath, my mom quickly asked what was wrong with me in a tone you would only expect to hear from a paramedic. I was at a loss for words. When I finally mustered up the ability to speak again, “Bre-brean-breandan just walked by…” was all that came out.

My mom’s never let me forget it.

Written by macky

December 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

My Golden Time with Rubik’s Cube

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Author: Dan Knights
Originally written in July, 2010.

On The Cube.
Despite dramatic changes in the cubing community between 1977 and 2010, the relationship between cuber and cube has never changed. Every cuber has a “golden time” with the cube. Erno Rubik himself expressed this sentiment about his own life. This golden time begins when the cuber first begins to solve the cube, and continues for weeks, months, or years as the secrets of the cube unfold. My golden time with the cube began when I first purchased my own cube. I had already developed a Java applet to display and solve a 3D virtual cube, and I had used the book, “Conquer That Cube” by Czes Kosniowsky to program the solution into the applet, but I had never solved a cube myself. While we were coding the applet, my friend Matt Wilder and I came across Jessica Fridrich’s web page describing her method, and I was dumbfounded that she could average 17 seconds. It blew my mind. I couldn’t imagine being able to turn the cube that fast without pausing. It wasn’t until almost a year later that I decided to learn the solution for myself. Matt was solving the cube in about a minute, and I was determined to get faster than him. One day I purchased a cube from the local toy store, took “Conquer That Cube” out from the library again, and started timing myself that very night.

On Friends.
In the spring of 1999, it seemed I was nearly alone in the world as a new speedcuber. The prominent speedcubers online at the time were Jessica Fridrich and Lars Petrus. Fortunately I had some local competition: Matt Wilder and I pushed each other down into the 30-second range using standard layer-by-layer approaches (mine was cross, first-layer corners, middle-layer edges, orient top edges, position top edges, position top corners, orient top corners). Then we decided to learn Fridrich’s F2L from her website. This got us down to mid-20’s. In the summer of 1999, about 3 months into my speedcubing career, I emailed Jessica to thank her for her inspiration and for sharing her algorithms. After a few emails exchanged we determined that on my weekend rock-climbing trips to the Shawangunks I was only a few hours’ drive from her home town, Binghamton, NY, and to my surprise she invited me to visit her and Mirek Goljan. I was so star-struck at the time that I printed and saved all of our email correspondences. In preparation for the visit, I finished learning the 21 last-layer permutations. When I got to her house, she had been out of cubing for so long that at first she couldn’t find a speed-cube. Eventually she tracked one down, and the three of us began racing. Within minutes she was averaging 17 seconds, and Mirek was close behind her. They said they were impressed with my reported 26-second averages, although under pressure I was hardly able to clear 30 seconds during our visit. This visit was pivotal for my progress as a speedcuber because I saw, in person, what became known as “finger-tricks” or “triggers”: Jessica and Mirek were able to flick the layers of the cube with amazing speed and precision. They performed three or four turns in a single fluid movement. They also strongly encouraged me to learn the 57 last-layer orientations. Following their advice, and mimicking their finger-tricks, within another two months my average was down to 18 seconds.

I also learned from Mirek and Jessica the standard protocol for taking home averages: record 12 times, drop the highest and lowest, and average the middle 10. Back then we were timing ourselves using the seconds display of a digital clock. Matt Wilder and I decided that rather than having to guess after each solve whether to round up or round down to the nearest second, we would always round down, and then add 0.5 seconds to the final average.

As impressed as I was by Jessica’s speedcubing prowess, I was equally taken aback by Mirek Goljan’s ability to intuit lengthy and specialized cube algorithms, many of which can be seen on Jessica Fridrich’s web page. For example, Mirek attempted to find, by hand, all algorithms of length 13 and 15 for transposition of two edges and two corners. I am afraid that this merciless sport of “mental cube wrestling” is all but dead in the age of personal computers. Not surprisingly, Mirek was exceptionally skilled at “fewest-moves” solving. He won the 2003 world championship for fewest moves with 29 turns. He remains in the top 15 now, in 2010.

On Blindfold Solving.
In the summer of 1999, before my meeting with Jessica Fridrich and Mirek Goljan, I read on Georges Helm’s web site that John Conway (the mathematician), used to solve the cube behind his back with four or five looks. Somehow I got it into my head that I could solve the cube in one look. In other words, blindfolded. I was naïve, and my first attempt was a brutal standard ad-hoc solve. This meant that I solved the entire cube using my normal solution method, and tracked every last piece through all of the 75 or so turns. It took hours of study and preparation. I had the cube on my desk at my summer job, and I was able to study it without making any noise (and thus without exposing my delinquency), because I didn’t have to turn it. When I was finally ready for the solve, I sat in my car during lunch and closed my eyes. With my heart pounding and racing, I carefully executed the precise and lengthy set of turns that I had determined would solve the cube. When I opened my eyes, I was alone in my car with a perfectly solved cube! This was one of the highest moments in my life. I felt dizzy from the mental exertion and the heat of the car in the summer, exhausted from the tension, and elated by my success. I had successfully climbed a high and technical mountain, and to my knowledge at the time it was the first ascent. I haven’t heard evidence to the contrary, although I find it likely that, given the immense popularity of the cube in the 1980’s, it must have been done before by someone. Soon after my first attempt I realized the benefit of solving the cube using only “minimally destructive” algorithms, and was able to solve blindfolded in 10-20 minutes. I would never have believed that 10 years later people would be averaging under a minute.

On Stiff Cubes.
In 1999 the only cubes for sale in the USA were made by OddzOn, and they were terrible for speedcubing: stiff, rough turning, paper stickers with plastic film that came off within days. As a consequence, I had to use relatively forceful movements to turn the cube. My handling of the cube required lots of turning “with the wrist”. Turning with the wrist means letting go of the cube before and after each turn to reposition the hand. This is considerably slower than the “proper” technique of flicking the sides of the cube with the fingers. Years later, when I went to the 2005 world championship, I was impressed by how smooth and loose the new speedcubes were. I immediately purchased some, and over the next year I painstakingly re-trained myself to use more finger-tricks and fewer wrist-turns. The new techniques paid off, and I was able to get my home average down from 16 seconds to sub-14 seconds. But despite my best efforts, one can still see in my cube handling the remnants of my early training with stiff cubes. In a minor way, I was doubly cursed by these OddzOn cubes: for some strange reason, they used the Japanese color scheme (green opposite yellow), and I’ve been stuck using it ever since. This means that I’m always the odd man out at cube parties, and I’m hindered when solving a stranger’s cube in public.

On Perpetuity.
Over the years, Rubik’s cube has spawned thousands of variations of “twisty” puzzles, but none rivals the original. The cube is the perfect puzzle: it’s hard enough that no one can solve it using only intuition; it’s easy enough that anyone can solve it with enough study or instruction; it fits perfectly in the hand, and its physical manipulation is natural and obvious; it requires no setting up, no cleaning up, and no batteries; it’s small and portable; it’s durable; it’s colorful and attractive; and every time you solve it the solution is unique. For 30 years, the cube has held its ground against electronic gadgets, life-like video games, and 24-hour entertainment. Rubik’s cube is an anchor for the largely unmoored entertainment industry. People loved it in the 1980’s. People love it now. People will love it in 100 years. Erno Rubik’s name will likely live as long as lives humanity.

– Dan Knights

Written by macky

December 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Life Lessons^3

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Author: Evan Gates
Written as a college entrance essay in 2004 or 2005.

The following began on the night of October 19th 2003. I was at my grandmother’s house for my cousin’s 17th birthday. The atmosphere was cheery, and the room was loud, as it often is when the whole family is together. Getting distracted from the event at hand, I decided to take part in a little sibling rivalry. My brother and I took turns on my grandmother’s stationary bike, watching the RPM, seeing who could go faster. The bike had moving handlebars which could be used in place of the pedals, which of course led to a hands only competition. My brother pushed and pulled his way to 73 RPM; then it was my turn. I hopped on and started up. As my arms pumped like pistons, the RPM meter rose. The speed shot up to 20, 30, 40, 50 RPM and continued to rise up past 60, 70, 80 RPM. At 93 RPM, disaster struck. Due to the torque of my upper body as I fought with the handles, my bare right foot slipped, and fell into the path of the pedal. The pedal struck my heel and violently jammed my toes into the foot peg.

A trip to the emergency room revealed a broken foot and broken hopes of playing football any more that season. To the untrained observer, this event may seem to be an act of stupidity followed by the deserved punishment. But Winston Churchill said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” And perhaps Dale Carnegie put it better in his well known quotation “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” In actuality, this event started me on my most intriguing journey to date.

A day or two later, while surfing the web and chatting with friends, I came across a video of someone not only solving the Rubik’s cube, but doing so in under 20 seconds. I have a profound interest in mathematics and computer science, so the idea of the world’s greatest puzzle intrigued me, and I followed up by getting a Rubik’s cube of my own. Sadly, I followed the path of most first time cubists, and got fed up with the cube after a couple of days. After a quick search on Google, I found a few simple and a few not-so-simple solutions to the Rubik’s cube online. I added the sites to my favorites, and then went to sleep for the night. The next day was a school football game. Because I was confined to the bench for the rest of the season, I brought my cube along for the twelve hour journey. During this time I began to understand the basics of the Rubik’s cube. I became highly proficient at following the directions on how to solve the cube. After a day or two more, I was solving the cube without the aid of an instruction sheet, taking about three minutes to do so. The addiction had begun.

From that day until the present I have been on a never ending quest for speed, learning more algorithms (sets of moves which produce a desired effect on the Rubik’s cube) and different solutions, working my way up. I have attended several official Rubik’s cube competitions, including the 2004 US national championships, in which I placed 15th out of the 47 cubists who attended. Currently my personal best time is 17.63 seconds.

Now as if one time and life consuming hobby isn’t enough fun, try combining it with another. This was the basic theory behind my 2004 science project. I’m fanatical about the Rubik’s cube, passionate about programming, and fervent about robotics. So what type of diabolical scheme can you come up with that combines all three? That’s right, the world’s fastest Rubik’s cube solving robot. My inspiration came from another video I had recently seen. Originally, I was planning on building a robot with the same basic design as in the video, but I wasn’t content with the speed, or lack thereof, at which this design solved the Rubik’s cube, and I didn’t want to be able to beat my own robot. So I went about designing something radically different and ended up with an 18 inch Plexiglas cube that looks like something out of Star Trek. The robot controlled my life for about two months, over the course of which I wrote the code for it, built it, and tuned it into a lean mean cube solving machine. It can now beat the current world record holder and averages only 11.46 seconds per solve. The robot took me to the California State Science Fair and led me to create my own website (www.deepcube.net). It is also unofficially the fastest cube solving robot in the world, as there has not yet been an official event for robots.

In the end, I was able to turn a negative experience into a positive one. I set a goal for myself, pursued it, and enjoyed the journey as well as the destination. Although I have not become the fastest in the world, my robot has, and I can solve the Rubik’s cube more quickly than I ever thought possible. Although Churchill and Carnegie provide timeless words of wisdom, perhaps the most memorable are the immortal words of my mother who has repeated time and time again, “Always wear shoes while using gym equipment.”

Written by macky

December 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm