Product: Toy
Digital Rubik's cube   (+10, -3)  [vote for, against]
It uses L.E.D.s and a microprocessor instead of actual rotations.

Most of this idea comes from an annotation by jutta in one of my ideas, but jutta said I could post it.

This is an idea for a rubik's cube that doesn't actually twist or rotate, but instead it uses a microprocessor to control the color arrangement of 54 six colored color changing light-emitting diodes from touch sensing input.

The cube could have different programs which could randomly scramble the colors, or scramble the colors according to skill level. For experts there could be a program that has a time limit or it could scramble a few of the squares while you are playing it. Or something else that you people that are reading this might come up with.

Jutta suggested it to have an acceleration sensor or something, which would scramble the cube when you bonk it against a table or something.

Instead of using some kind of rocker switches like jutta mentioned for the sensor input, I suggest using the L.E.D.s as photodiodes to sense touches of the fingers.

The cube would have software which could determine the intention of a rotation, for example, if you touch the top right square facing you with your thumb and the back bottom right square with your finger for approximately half of a second, the cube would determine that you intend to rotate the right 9 cubes forward 90 degrees.
-- BJS, Apr 10 2007

LED Touch Sensing http://cs.nyu.edu/~...ledtouch/index.html
LEDs as photodiodes. [BJS, Apr 10 2007]

Multi-touch sensing http://en.wikipedia...Multi-touch_sensing
Information @ wikipedia [BJS, Apr 10 2007]

baked http://www.youtube....watch?v=uaH1XUMNpRo
[jaksplat, Nov 12 2009]

It sounds interesting, but I'm thinking that if you're going electronic, maybe you could let the cube do things you can't do with a regular Rubik's cube.

Maybe pressing one face could rotate the colors of the touching faces, in one direction or the other. Maybe pressing another face switches colors with the face on the opposite side. And then maybe the rules change on a random basis, and solving the puzzle involves determining the current set of rules.
-- DrCurry, Apr 10 2007


psssst. The autoboner doesn't like cubes, pass it on.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 11 2007


Looks like the rest of us are not so fussed.
-- DrCurry, Apr 11 2007


//which would scramble the cube when you bonk it against a table or something// - As if the bloody thing wasn't hard enough already.
-- wagster, Apr 11 2007


I haven't yet mastered the cube, but I'm 2/3 of the way there.
-- BJS, Apr 11 2007


Could be cool, but I can see one drawback for "professional" rubik's cubers; I already have trouble believing my eyes when someone solves a *real* cube in 12.7 seconds. Now if the gizmo is electronic, no one in their right mind will buy it.
-- placid_turmoil, Apr 12 2007


You are exactly right placid_turmoil, no one in their right mind will buy it. Only people out of their right mind (and with money in their pocket) would but it.
-- BJS, Apr 12 2007


Ever see the book 101 things to do with a dead cube?

[BJS] From your post I would bet that you do not know how to cube. Believe it or not, cubes can not be scrambled randomly. I have been in the middle of solving a cube when it becomes obvious that somebody has become a tad upset and began switching the stickers around. At that point it becomes pointless to continue as it has been rendered an unsolvable cube.

To get an idea of how that can be, imagine if the colors that would be on opposite side once solved are stuck on a corner where they are adjacent to each other. That is a color combination that does not exist solved, and so can not exist scrambled either. In addition, and while this is not an exact statement it gives a feel of what is going on, "there must be an even number of out placements".

I remember creating my first racing cube, popping the centers off so I could loosen the screws, and spreading powdered graphite on all inner surfaces. It would spin at the lightest of touches. But sadly I found that I was not a world class cuber. 46 seconds! I have never made it faster than 46 seconds.

Digital cube? It might make it possible for me to get just a bit faster. But I don’t know if I would feel it was a fair comparison. Not to mention I still get upset once in awhile when I need to do something that was easy with DOS but is now impossible since they have separated us from the CPU with a GUI. Thanks but no thanks. I’ll just keep my mechanical cube and have to live with 46 seconds.
-- Ozone, Apr 24 2008



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