We’ve seen humans solve Rubik’s cubes, and machines that can do the task with incredible speed, but what about a cube that can solve itself? If even that isn’t cool enough, what about a cube that can solve itself while suspended in midair? If that sounds too incredible to be true, then check out the first (not-CG) video below. This cube can indeed twist itself into place, while casually floating in the air.
The trick here, as you may suspect, is that there are magnets embedded in the cube, with a magnetic base to repel it into “space.” The other issue is actually solving this cube-riddle, which has been possible for quite some time as seen in the second clip, albeit on normal flat surface. The solve process (if not its miniaturization) is deceptively simple, as a human has to first put the cube into a solved state, then let it record the actions as it is “messed up.” Movements are then duplicated in reverse, leading to a nice ordered pattern of colors.
The cube is reminiscent of the robot in Interstellar, and like that robot, its body travels around as it twists, making where it ends up a bit unpredictable when not lifted into the air. The last video is a “making of,” including a gigantic prototype, giving us some hint as to what’s inside!
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Author: Jeremy S. Cook