Contrary to popular belief, solving a Rubik’s Cube DOES NOT automatically make you a smart person; it just means you have the problem-solving skills and the fortune to not be color-blind to piece together a multi-colored cube. Still, it does help pass the time and draw the attention of passers-by as you flick between the many colored segments and land with the same colors on every side.
Takashi Kaburagi, who goes by the YouTube handle Human Controller, recently put a—ahem—even more intelligent spin on the classic 3×3 cube by creating a variety of designs that solve themselves. By embedding a tiny computer and a series of small motors into these cubes, Takashi’s modified toys twist, turn, and rotate until every color goes back into place.
It’s kind of freaky watching the cube crawl while solving itself—but after a few disgruntled spasms, all the pieces can be found in their proper place. To activate the built-in computer, Takashi first has to scramble the Rubik’s Cube. After disorganizing it, he rotates the top face 360°, and away it goes. I have no idea how he discerns which part of the cube is the top face, but it’s a fair bet he uses the logo found in the middle as a reference point since you can never change a middle block’s position.
Creating a self-solving solution to one of western society’s modern desk toy conundrums required many sketches and drafting in CAD. Starting with the motors, he adds the circuits and wires before storing the computer inside a hollowed-out Rubik’s cube housing. Takashi has created many different-sized 3×3 cubes over the years, starting with a larger cube in 2017 before managing to develop a motor that can fit into the standard-sized Rubik’s cube.
You can find more behind-the-scenes images of Takashi’s self-solving Rubik’s Cube here. Apart from the cubes, his YouTube channel also has some weirder design videos, including one where he remotely controls another person using a controller and a stimulating headset.