Abertay University students have created a robot, made out of Lego, which can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under two minutes.
First and second year computing students in Dundee have made the Mindstorms machine and are now offering people the chance to face-off against it in the famously difficult challenge.
The Lego device takes photographs of the Rubik’s Cube’s stickers before solving it as a human would by twisting the patterns into place.
Going head-to-head with the robot is one of a number of events taking place at Abertay on Saturday (October 21) as the university welcomes potential students for its open day at the Bell Street campus.
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Dr Ian Ferguson of Abertay’s division of cybersecurity said the invention was a great example of the artificial intelligence (AI) work being undertaken at the university.
He added: “The Lego Rubik’s Cube Robot is a great way to demonstrate the power of AI (and) approaches to computing, and is one of a host of live demonstrations that will run across the university at Abertay’s open day on Saturday, October 21.
“The project to build the robot was undertaken by first and second year students on the BSc computing degree.
“Creating a robot to solve the cube with Lego Mindstorms involves not only the physical manipulation of the cube but also encoding the rules and reasoning that determine the moves the robot must make.
“The students pieced together a series of motors, sensors, gears and bricks to create the robot, including an ‘intelligent brick’.
“The sensors detect and identify the scrambled colours before the program computes the fastest set of moves to restore the cube to its ‘solved’ state.”
Other events being staged on the open day include the Death: The Quick, The Slow and The Painful in the new £3.5 million science labs, with visitors being asked to turn detective and work on poisoning, drowning and stabbing cases.
Family members will be able to watch potential students take part through thick glass walls as university experts head up the investigations.
Demonstrations will take place in the campus’ sports lab showcasing the science behind performance enhancing techniques used by athletes and featured in the BBC’s How to Stay Young series.
In Abertay’s UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games visitors will be able to get a glimpse of life inside a professional gaming studio, playing games made by students and view artwork.
In the Hacklab, where the lego robot will be on show, ethical hacking students will be showing off the latest cybersecurity technologies and there will be a demonstration on how simple it is for online criminals to steal personal data.
A legal debate will take place in the Abertay “courtroom”, the psychology department will host a live social experiment and the impacts of dementia will be displayed by the Division of Mental Health.
The open day will take place from 10am until 3pm on Saturday. Another will be held on Wednesday, November 8 from 12pm until 3pm.