One part Android, a few parts LEGO and a whole lot of awesome. That’s the general makeup of the contraption you see below. The Megaminxer, created by David Gilday, was able to solve a the Meffert’s Challenge Dodecahedron Megaminx puzzle in just over eight minutes.
You and I both know that it’s not completely impossible to solve a Rubik’s cube, but the puzzle being solved here is a dodecahedron. That means it’s got twice as many sides as a normal Rubik’s cube. Dubbed the Megaminx, this beast of a puzzle has 12 sides, 12 colors and 50 pieces. The video saves you the headache of figuring out the number of possible positions by just giving you the answer, roughly 1.01 x 10^68. That’s equivalent to 101 vigintillion possible positions on the short scale, or 101 undecillion positions on the long scale (I swear these are not made up numbers).
The robot design came from another Gilday creation, built to solve the 7x7x7 cube version of the puzzle in 38 minutes. With some tweaks, the LEGO Mindstorms NXT robot went from twirling the V-Cube 7 to speeding through the Megaminx.
Solving the puzzle would be impressive enough for most people, but the fact that it is finished in eight minutes and four seconds is astounding. While the mechanized LEGO creation is the stuff tech dreams are made of, the phone that made it all happen is not to be overlooked. The HTC Desire takes a picture of each of the twelve faces, stores the information, solves the puzzle ands sends the solution via Bluetooth to the NXT controller. The app was written with a Java base, and not designed for speed-solving (scary to think of how fast it could have been solved).
Gilday jokes in his blog, “I’m sorry to disappoint you … my latest creation does not solve a Rubik’s Cube puzzle.” While this may be true, it’s hard to believe that anyone could be disappointed when they see the fruits of Gilday’s labor. Videos of the SpeedCuber, yet another LEGO creation by Gilday, can be found on his blog.
If you aren’t amused by the LEGO robot or the speed-solving, at least you can enjoy the dance moves from the Android Robot. This video really does have something for everyone!