The date was 1974. The place? Budapest, Hungary. Erno Rubik, a passionate lecturer and admirer of geometry and 3D forms creates the world’s most addictive and perfect puzzle – the Rubik’s cube. It’s now thirty-seven years later and it’s still the best selling puzzle in the Universe.
There is even an annual World Rubik’s Cube Championship tournament, seriously, there is…check this out… http://www.speedcubing.com/
The first world champion was an American high school student who took the Budapest World Championship in 1982 by solving the puzzle in just 22.95 seconds! The latest record winner (2003) was Dan Knights of San Francisco who used the ‘Fridrich’ system to beat the cube in just 20 seconds.
There are 43 quintillion possible combinations with your Rubik’s cube. That’s 43 million million millions. There are about 30 million seconds in a year. You would need over a thousand million years assuming you could look at a thousand patterns every second just to see all the possible combinations.
Well recently I Volunteered to help out at the Discover Science Big Day Out. It was all about introducing the public, particularly children, to science and maths in a fun, engaging way. One of our main draws was this guy:
His name is RuBot II, his nickname; The Cubinator. Developed by Irish roboticist and inventor Peter Redmond. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, he is the world’s fastest Rubik’s cube solving robot.
And when he’s not solving puzzles, he’s on facebook, add him as a friend 🙂