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ARM-Powered® Robot Aims to Break World Speed Record for Solving a Rubik’s Cube at UK’s Big Bang Fair 2014

The CUBESTORMER 3 robot which uses ARM® processor technology has started final testing before attempting to break the Guinness World Records™ title for solving a Rubik’s® Cube at the Big Bang Fair being held at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, on Saturday (March 15). The current record of 5.27 seconds was set just over two years ago by its predecessor CubeStormer II.

See CUBESTORMER 3 in training on ARMflix at http://youtu.be/QKj8BolN2KQ.

The new robot employs an ARM-powered Samsung® Galaxy S4 smartphone to analyze the cube and instruct four robotic hands to do the manipulations. ARM9™ processors also power the eight LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 bricks which perform the motor sequencing and control.

“We are very confident the robot will break the record,” said Dominic Vergine, head of corporate responsibility at ARM. “The new robot can think three times faster than its older brother. The older robot was using intelligence from a dual-core ARM Cortex®-A9 based Samsung Electronics’ Exynos 4 Dual application processor in a Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone. CUBESTORMER 3 will use a Galaxy S4 equipped with an Exynos 5 Octa application processor with an eight-core ARM big.LITTLE™ implementation featuring four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 processors.”

CUBESTORMER 3 is the result of effort in their spare time over 18 months by co-designers David Gilday, a principal engineer at ARM, and Mike Dobson, a security systems engineer for Securi-Plex. The new design features upgraded mechanics including a precision independent braking system that will bring significant speed benefits. The software has also been optimized to take advantage of the increased mechanical flexibility as well as the compute power gains.

“The record-breaking attempt is a bit of fun for us,” said David Gilday. “Our real focus is to demonstrate what can be achieved with readily-available technology to inspire young minds into taking a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We’re already seeing robot technology deployed widely in the manufacturing industry but there is now potential for robots to cope with disruption. You can easily imagine a robot able to deal with minor surgical procedures or perhaps even a Michelin-starred robot chef? While the human brain is still far more powerful than any processor, it would be fantastic to see technology with real human-kind benefits being created by someone inspired by seeing CUBESTORMER 3 in action.”

The previous record-setting attempt went viral on YouTube, drawing some 4 million views and CUBESTORMER 3 is expected to draw equal attention on-line and from the crowds expected at this year’s Big Bang Fair. Guinness World Records editor-in-chief , Craig Glenday, will be present to adjudicate at the event.

CUBESTORMER 3 will be working in time for the opening of the Big Bang Fair today (March 13) but the inventors are taking two days to get it running at peak performance in the NEC environment.

Alongside the fastest robot to complete a Rubik’s Cube attempt, David Gilday is looking to set two further world records with other ARM-based robots. The first, for the quickest completion of a 4x4x4 cube using his MultiCuber 3 robot based on a Huawei® Ascend P6 smartphone based on Hisilicon’s K3V2E processor. He will also attempt to set a time for completing a 9x9x9 cube, the first time a robot has attempted this. With the amount of solution possibilities running to 278 digits, it is a highly complex task. It will be taken on by his MultiCuber 999 robot, based on a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone powered by an Exynos 4 Dual application processor. If they are successful, the new times will all be entered in the 2015 Guinness World Records book.

Notes to Editors

ARM supports the Big Bang Fair as part of a series of planned engagements aimed at encouraging young people to consider a career in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics-based discipline. Our stand in 2014 will feature experience-based activities giving visitors the chance to program with Raspberry Pi, race robotic ‘Sphero’ balls through a 3D maze and program a real robot with Robotiky.

CUBESTORMER 3 and all of the other devices can be found throughout the Big Bang Fair at ARM’s stand in the Think Digital section – stand number TD15.

Previous Guinness World Record set by CubeStormer II in November 2011. See the film on the ARMflix channel on YouTube.

CUBESTORMER 3 image available to download here

About ARM

ARM® is at the heart of the world’s most advanced digital products. Our technology enables the creation of new markets and transformation of industries and society. We design scalable, energy efficient-processors and related technologies to deliver the intelligence in applications ranging from sensors to servers, including smartphones, tablets, enterprise infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

Our innovative technology is licensed by ARM Partners who have shipped more than 50 billion Systems on Chip (SoCs) containing our intellectual property since the company began in 1990. Together with our Connected Community, we are breaking down barriers to innovation for developers, designers and engineers, ensuring a fast, reliable route to market for leading electronics companies. Learn more and join the conversation at http://community.arm.com.

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