Metro developers’ robot solves Rubik’s Cube in record time

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Records are made to be broken – or perhaps twisted.

Two software developers from the metro have set a new world record for fastest time solving a Rubik’s Cube by a robot. A large crowd assembled to watch on Friday afternoon, as did an official judge from the Guinness World Records authority.

Jay Flatland and Paul Rose and their robot, which they built using a 3D printer, set a new record time of .900 seconds, as their machine whirled into action and solved the puzzle with ease. The two software spinners have been working on the robot since August, having challenged themselves to beat the record they saw other robots setting online.

“We came across a video of a Lego robot solving a Rubik's Cube. We thought, 'I'll bet we could do that faster’,” Flatland told FOX 4 News.

“To do this puzzle that everyone's known about for 40 years, and to do it in a second, I think everyone grasps what that is,” Rose said.

The robot uses a series of tiny USB-driven cameras, which pick up on the cube’s colors while its robotic arms do the work.

“If you'd asked any engineer, could you do this? He'd say yes. I think it was just our idea to sit down and do it,” Rose said.

Both record setters say reaching the mark feels like a reward, just for doing something they love.

“As we're working on it, everybody understood immediately. Even non-technical people said, 'Oh, that's cool. I get what you're doing. That's really neat’,” Flatland said.

The former Guinness World record was held by a teenager from Florida, whose robot could solve the Rubik’s Cube in 2.39 seconds.

Rose told FOX 4's Sean McDowell he remembered being a kid, and leafing through the pages of the Guinness Book at school. Flatland says the world record withstanding, he hopes this mark makes a career in engineering seem appealing to students.

Both Rose and Flatland work as software designers at Tradebot Systems, a stock brokerage near Riverside.