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LEGO® SudoCuber





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Published on Sep 11, 2013

SudoCuber is a robot designed from LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT and a smartphone that can solve a Sudoku Cube (a Rubik's Cube®-style puzzle)

The Sudoku Cube has numbers rather than colors and is solved when each face has all the numbers from 1 to 9 in the same orientation. The concept and name were adopted from the popular 2-dimensional Sudoku puzzle:

The robot's mechanical design was created in 2012 and adopted the "MultiCuber" principles used in earlier robots which can solve a variety of cubes from 2x2x2 thru 7x7x7 and 3x3x9. This particular implementation was designed to be stronger and more robust to be able to solve cubes which are physically harder to turn.

The custom app running on the smartphone uses the phone's camera to capture images of each face of the cube which it analyses to recognise patterns and shapes rather than only colors.

The solving algorithm was adapted from the two-phase algorithm to solve a regular Rubik's Cube originally developed for Yellow Cube Machine and later enhanced for Android Speedcuber and CubeStormer II. It still has two phases, but uses more lookup tables to enable it to also solve the orientation of the middle piece on each face. This is not required for a regular Rubik's Cube that has stickers with solid colors. The software calculates solutions with an average of about 24 turns in about 2 seconds of processing time.

Like its predecessors, the mechanism is able to manipulate cubes with any number of layers limited only by the physical dimensions of the cube. The robot can be seen solving a colored 4x4x4 cube efficiently in videos on the ARMflix channel (under the name "MultiCuber 3" since it was the third implementation of the mechanism):

Other MultiCuber solvers can be seen on the IAssemble and ARMflix channels solving a variety of cubes including:

Many thanks again to my very good friend Mike Dobson (co-designer of CubeStormer II) for allowing me to use one of his great tracks for this video, "SugarKube". Thanks Mike :)



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