Rubik’s Cube – The Next Step
This is Jon, talking a bit about why and how he’s building his cube, demoing one of the early prototypes in action
(Using a 4x4 cube to simulate a 3x3 – rotating 2 middle rows together)
Three years ago, when I was 19 years old, I solved the Rubik’s cube for the very first time.
After my first solve I was immediately hooked. From then on I would bring a cube with me anywhere I went and tried to learn as much as possible from the puzzle. I competed against other solvers and also learned how to solve the puzzle in many different ways.
Now let’s fast forward to today. I am currently in Haifa Israel interning at Gemsense. I decided to spend my summer here because I was very excited by their technology and by how many possible uses there are for it. At this time the primary product of the company is a digital sensor about the size and shape of a coin. The Gem (as it’s called) can sense motion applied to it such as rotation and acceleration.
After seeing the Gem I remember telling the guys that it would be really cool if someone put one sensor on each side of a Rubik’s cube. This could allow you to know exactly what state the cube was in, record the moves performed onto it, and time your solution. Being such a big fan of the Rubik’s cube my mind was blown away by this idea.
Much to my surprise, after telling them about my abstract idea I was told that if I really think it is a good idea and that I know how it could work I should go ahead and try to bring my idea to reality. This was not at all the response I was expecting. I thought that my idea was good, but it would be really hard to actually create it. Nevertheless I accepted the challenge and got to work.
I created a 3D model of a Rubik’s cube using Unity, and attached 6 gems to a 4x4x4 Rubik’s cube. After a few weeks I was able to surprise myself and many others by actually creating a demo that could model the movements of my physical cube on the cube displayed on my computer screen. The interaction was so exciting to see that we decided to take it to the next level by creating a custom cube for the sensors. I contacted Oskar Van Deventer, a puzzle designer, about creating a 3D model we could print that could hold the sensors inside of it. Oskar has been extremely helpful in doing so, and I can not thank him enough for his work.
It has been very exciting for me to see one of my ideas brought to reality. I am very excited to work on many more demos at Gemsense, and would like to thank everyone who has helped me make this possible.
What you need:
-1 Rubik’s Cube
-A computer with bluetooth support
-Basic programming skills
-Download the code found at https://github.com/JonLoeb/GemCube
-Attach the gems to your Rubik’s cube in the following order:
Gem 1 on UP layer pointing towards to RIGHT layer
Gem 2 on LEFT layer pointing towards to UP layer
Gem 3 on FRONT layer pointing towards to RIGHT layer
Gem 4 on RIGHT layer pointing towards to DOWN layer
Gem 5 on BACK layer pointing towards to RIGHT layer
Gem 6 on DOWN layer pointing towards to LEFT layer
-Change the code in CubeMoves.cs so that the address of the gems matches the address of your gems
-That’s it! Enjoy using your smart cube!