Robot Breaks Rubik's Cube World Record by Solving Puzzle in One Second

The world record for solving a Rubik's Cube puzzle has been broken by a robot, clocking a time five times quicker than any human can manage.

Software engineers Jay Flatland and Paul Rose built the record-breaking machine by connecting a 3D-printed frame to six individual motors controlled by a computer. The motors control the cube through holes drilled into the central squares on each side of the cube.

Over the course of several demonstrations, the quickest time achieved by the robot was 1.019 seconds, which compares to the current machine record of 2.39 seconds and the human record of 4.904 seconds.

"We use four USB webcams to determine the state of the cube very rapidly," Flatland explained in a YouTube video released earlier this month. The camera information is then fed into a PC application that uses an algorithm to determine a set of moves that will solve the cube.

Flatland and Rose are in the process of applying for an official Guinness World Record, currently held by a robot built by a high school student in the U.S. The current human record of 4.904 seconds was set by teenager Lucas Etter in the 2015 River Hill Fall competition in Maryland (see video below).

According to the Guinness World Records guidelines, the cube needs to meet the stipulations of the World Cube Association. The cube also needs to be scrambled prior to the attempt according to the official rules that human Rubik's Cube competitors abide by.