The challenge of solving a Rubik’s cube is a treasured novelty and one of the most popular tests of intellectual prowess. Andrea Favero’s Raspberry Pi project takes the task even further by solving the classic 80’s puzzle autonomously. This 3D-printed Rubik’s cube solver not only integrates our favorite SBC but makes use of well-known machine learning applications that are open source and free for anyone to tinker with themselves at home.
This automated Rubik’s cube solver, for all practical purposes, can be considered a robot. It’s an upgrade to a previous Rubik’s Cube-solving bot Favero created earlier this year but with a new, 3D-printed twist. This custom-designed enclosure is open source, as well, and free for anyone who wants to make their own. It works by scanning all sides of the Rubik’s cube using a camera module and solving the puzzle with a series of servo motors in about 90 seconds.
If you’re no stranger to Raspberry Pi projects and own a 3D printer, you just might have everything you need to recreate this robot lying around. It’s built around a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W and uses the official Raspberry Pi Camera module. The housing is 3D-printed and relies on a few servo motors to move components around for solving the puzzles.
Favero, describes himself as a maker and builder with a passion for creating “useless devices”. In his Instructables profile history as well as his YouTube channel, he delves into the creation process for both this and the original bot he created a few months back.
Favero explains that all of the code used in this project was devised using Python. That said, a few extra tools are necessary to work out the puzzle-solving algorithm, the biggest component being the Kociemba Cube Explorer solver. This application helps the Pi in determining what path is best suited for solving the cube depending on its current configuration.
To see this robot in action, check out the demo video shared to YouTube. If you want to make your own Rubik’s Cube solver and finally clean up that mess of a block, you can easily recreate this Raspberry Pi project at home by following Favero’s guide over at Instructables.
The described robot is part of a series, named CUBOTino.
The robot has been designed to be scalable, in costs and complexity; The base version had the objective to be as simple as possible as well as as cheap as possible, and despite it requires a PC for the calculation power.
The base version, meant to be a starting point in Rubik's cube solver robots, is well described at Instructables website.