Rubik’s cubes are traditionally 3x3x3, and have been solved by robotic systems in a variety of different ways. But what about a 4x4x4 variant? Such a device presents expanded solving challenges, which creators Thibault and Florent were able to address with their BallCuber contraption.
The BallCuber utilizes an independent camera unit to obtain the cube’s initial state, after which it’s placed in a spherical solving chamber ringed by nine NEMA 17 stepper motors.
Software running on a PC processes the scanned pattern and an algorithm works out the movements needed to complete the puzzle. Two Arduino Mega boards, each with a RAMPS 1.4 shield, along with stepper drivers rotate the cube in the proper sequence.
The device can solve the colorful toy in around three minutes and 20 seconds, but Thibault and Florent hope to eventually rework it to beat the world record of 1:18! More details can be found on their page here.