At the IPC show, a trade show for industrial controls held in Detroit this
week, Kawasaki had a Rubik's cube solving robot. The robot has two arms and
hands and a video camera. The robot is handed a scrambled cube, orients the
cube in front of the camera until it has seen enough faces to deduce the
current state of the cube; displays the number of moves required for its
solution; and then solves the cube using both hands (grippers). The robot
is capable of manipulating the entire cube using only its hands, without
relying on anything else such as a flat surface. Unfortunately, I missed
the show so this information was obtained second hand.
More information can be found by the WWW. I remember putting a link to
it on one of my pages at http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~whuang/.
-- Wei-Hwa Huang (email@example.com)
Proponent of rec.games.computer.puzzle