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Don't blink: New Rubik's Cube solve record set by machine

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation's TOKUFASTbot solves a puzzle cube in record time: 0.305 sec. [Credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corp.]



Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (MECO) was recently awarded the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the fastest robot to solve a puzzle cube using a robot equipped with high-speed, high-precision factory automation (FA) equipment and control technology.

The robot's time of 0.305 sec on May 21, 2024, beat the previous record of 0.38 sec. Mitsubishi Electric was the holder of the previous world record also.

[Credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corp.]

The TOKUI Fast Accurate Synchronized motion Testing Robot (TOKUFASTbot) that performed the puzzle-solving feat was created by engineers at MECO using many off-the-shelf components. The TOKUFASTbot can perform a 90° rotation time of 0.009 sec thanks to its rotation mechanism, which is built with Mitsubishi Electric's compact, high-power, signal-responsive servo motors and a color-recognition algorithm developed with proprietary AI technology.

MECO told Designfax exclusively that the TOKUFASTbot uses six HK-MT63W rotary servo motors (AC Servo MELSERVO J5 series) -- one for each cube face -- to solve the puzzle. The motors are available for purchase. These small-capacity, ultra-low-inertia 200-VAC units have a rated speed of 3,000 rpm. You can view a PDF flyer from MECO about its AC Servo System MELSERVO-J5 full line here with tables of specs.

MECO provided the following specs for the HK-MT63W rotary servo motor:

  • MAXIMUM TORQUE (NM):5.1(7.1)(depending on the servo amplifier to which it is connected)
  • RATED SPEED (RPM):3000
  • POWER SUPPLY (V) (for this servo motor):AC200V

Mitsubishi Electric's HK-MT63W rotary servo motor torque. [Credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corp.]



In addition, the servo motors, programmable controller, industrial PC, touch panel display, and cameras for the TOKUFASTbot were all designed to achieve high-speed signal connection and inter-device control.

When Mitsubishi's General Purpose AC Servo MELSERVO J5 series debuted in 2019, it was the world's first line of servo system products on the market to support the CC-Link IE TSN next-gen industrial open network. These servo motors are equipped with battery-less, high-resolution encoders (67,108,864 pulses/rev) developed by Mitsubishi Electric that decrease torque fluctuation for accurate and stable positioning. In general for the series, HK rotary servo motors connect to both 200-V and 400-V power supply servo amplifiers. In addition, combinations such as connecting a lower-capacity servo motor with a higher-capacity servo amplifier can achieve higher speed and torque. Flexible system construction provides greater design freedom for machine builders, according to MECO. Power and encoder connections for these servo motors are simplified into a single cable and connector.

World record cube-solving attempts must pass stringent World Cube Association (WCA) regulations, which include: "Puzzles must be scrambled using computer-generated random scramble sequences." The scrambling is done by an event-designated "scrambler." GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS takes WCA regulations into account when certifying results.

VIDEO: Behind-the-scenes look at the TOKUFASTbot (in Japanese, though, unfortunately for most of us). [Credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corp.]

Yuji Yoshimura, senior general manager, Component Production Engineering Center, Mitsubishi Electric, said the cube-solving machine was created "to demonstrate our technical capabilities in achieving high-speed, high-precision windings, which are key to increasing the productivity and efficiency of motors used in many of our products." The Component Production Engineering Center was created in 2016 to develop and manufacture high-tech motors, power semiconductors, and related products.

Mitsubishi Electric's TOKUFASTbot engineering team with their official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title. [Credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corp.]



"Our young engineers voluntarily worked to set the world record, resulting in a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title, which has motivated our engineers to further develop their technical skills," said Yoshimura. "We will continue to take on exciting challenges using the technology we have cultivated in motor development to support global manufacturing."

Learn more about Mitsubishi AC Servos-MELSERVO drive solutions at https://us.mitsubishielectric.com/fa/en/products/drive-products/ac-servos-melservo/.

Source: Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

Published July 2024

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