Team Rubik Final Project

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This is the page for Team Rubik, a group for the E5 Final Project.

Team Members


To build a small robot that can solve a Rubik's cube by scanning its faces, determining a sequence of moves to solve it, and rotating the faces accordingly.

Our motivation for this project is that we believe we can sell a Rubik's-cube solving robot to frustrated, lazy puzzle aficionados the world over, and make lots of money from the patents. Also, not all of us (*cough* Nick) have the time to bother solving the cube by hand like some people with nothing better to do (*cough* Keliang). Lastly, it will be a chance for us to demonstrate our epic programing and robot-building skillz.


  • We will probably use 4 servos - 2 to grip, 2 to rotate
  • The programming will be in Matlab
  • The two rotating servos will have gripping pincers attached to grab and release the cube
  • Many components will need to be constructed from raw materials
  • Visual recognition of the faces will use either a webcam with image parsing software, or a set of light sensors

Block Diagram



  1. Thursday 11/12 - Publish project idea and team members on wiki
  2. Tuesday 11/17 - Finish complete project proposal on wiki including:
    • Motivation for project
    • Description of project including block diagram with major components (software and/or hardware)
    • Explicit time line for completion of tasks
    • Any equipment required
  3. Friday 11/20 - All materials gathered (servo grip kits + webcam)
  4. Saturday 11/21 - Assemble body of robot, start working on code
  5. Wednesday 11/25 - Physical robot completed and functional, code can do basic movements
  6. Sunday 11/29 - First draft of solving algorithm done, basic visual recognition done (e.g. color identification)
  7. Wednesday 12/2 - Complete solving algorithm done, first draft of full visual recognition done, start testing
  8. Saturday 12/5 - (Hopefully) robot is basically functional; continue testing and tweaking
  9. Sunday 12/6 - Practice oral presentation for Professor Cheever (schedule TBD)
  10. Tuesday 12/8 - Present project orally in class (schedule TBD)
  11. Thursday 12/10 - Turn in project report on wiki

Required Materials

  • Rubik's cube
  • Servos
  • Servo controller board
  • Servo mounting hardware
  • Grippers
  • Webcam
  • Base to support the servos and arms
  • Laptop
  • USB to serial converter