Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

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Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by robert_papalid_ece on Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:48 pm

Good day to each and everyone.

It took me quite a while to find this website. Just got lucky and bumped on this site.

My name is Robert, and I am now planning of creating my own version of a robot that is capable of solving a Rubik's cube for my thesis proposal. I have already studied some of the tips from the other websites, regarding the algorith in solving this puzzle. Applying all the tips that I have learned, I bought a Rubik's cube and tried solving it. I was never successful though.

Out of frustration, I tried to look for an interactive website similar to this one where I could be able ask for advices from real people who truly knows this puzzle.

If it would be possible, it would be better to make an appointment with anyone of you here, who is interested of personally teaching me the basics to the advance techniques.

Of course, every appointment, there is a "consultation fee", which I am willing to give, for as long as I will be taught the necessary information.

I am just hoping that you will not ask a lot.

Thanks and More Power.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by NoWi on Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:53 pm

hello u dont need to pay inorder to learn from us..
just go to what we call cubemeet.. an event where we gather to share ideas to learn or to do anyting related 2 cubing...

u can go tom trinoma 3pm

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by xpoiled7 on Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:45 pm

or kaya naman kuya nuod ka sa youtube
e2 ung link http://youtube.com/watch?v=HsQIoPyfQzM
may part two yan,di ko lang nilagay,kakatamad eh...pero nandun un,madali lang hanapin...hehe

-EDIT

meron din palang tagalog version si mr dijae,nakalimutan ko lang kung sa nya nilagay,kung sa cubing vids ba o sa noob area...search nalang po

gud luck po

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by Jome on Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:10 am

A few years back, a UP student named Benjo Enriquez (who is also a member of this site) submitted a thesis concerning the intricacies of the Rubik's Cube and its mathematical nature. Also, today, a known internation cuber, Stefann Pochmann, is also writing his thesis that centers around a computer program that solves the cube.

If I am free, I can meet up with you to tell you the history of the cube and who else you can approach about this. The list, though, is nigh endless. If you are intent on doing this, you have to contact a lot of cubers around the world. A robot (RuBot and RuBot2) already exists for this purpose, but I doubt if the creator would be willing to share the information regarding his creation.

And, to be honest, the system being used by humans vary greatly from the system being applied by a computer program or robot. It's hard to explain it here, pero there are a lot of cubers here who can enlighten you about them.

Text me at 09154042497 if you have any more questions or check the cubemeet section so you can be updated.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by benjediman on Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:12 am

Hello Robert!

I understand your predicament. Although I would very much would like to help you, I believe we cannot.

The robotic cube solvers you might have seen in Youtube or elsewhere do not use the same techniques normal people use. We, being bounded by the limits of our calculating capacity, resort to systematic methods of solving the cube, requiring us to constantly check on the cube right every move sets to know what to do next. The robots, on the other hand, have built-in programs that try to find the shortest solution possible in one calculation, and therefore could have even solved cubes blindfolded.

Although, if you do want to create a robot that has the same solving ability as a normal person would have, then I guess we can help you.

I'm interested though. Do you know how to develop the robot's eye that analyzes the current pattern of a cube?

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by Jome on Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:27 am

Bryan is correct. That's the difficult part of creating the robot: the solution. The best human system is known as the CFOP and it involves a not-so-high number of algorithms (100+) to solve the cube in four general steps. However, unless your robot's eye can adjust at every turn, it would be almost impossible to apply CFOP to your robot.

Various programs like the ACube and the Cube Explorer have revolutionized cubing in such a way that they can find the shortest solution in a solve without brute forcing (while the shortest possible solution stands at 25 moves, ACube can only give up to around 40 moves because less moves need more computer power). These programs were modified by robotics enthusiasts to create their cubing robots. However, that is only as far as most of us here know. There has never been an official attempt in this country to create a RuBot imitation.

But Bryan's offer is good: if you want to have a robot that can solve a Rubik's Cube in the same way as humans do, we can help you a little bit. It will never be as efficient as the more complicated RuBots, though it can still solve the cube.

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3x3x3 PB ave.: of 10, 18.37s; of 5, 17.62s
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No, my pic is not edited. I've got red eyes! Beware, spammers!

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by Jome on Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:34 am

Sorry for double-posting but I just want to grab everyone's attention with this specific post.

No one is to be paid for helping Sir Robert. We are a community of hobbyists that revolve around the concept of free dissemination of information. If you want to be paid, you should know perfectly what you are talking about and how you'll be able to help Sir Rober.

This stands as a reminder that we shouldn't abuse a standing offer. Sir Robert, there is no need to pay for asking for help. The most we ask from you is for this project to be realized fully.

_________________
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3x3x3 PB ave.: of 10, 18.37s; of 5, 17.62s
Official WCA Record

Will kill spammers for free.
No, my pic is not edited. I've got red eyes! Beware, spammers!

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by dalton on Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:24 am

I'm quite interested to the idea of the robot's eye capability of analyzing the given pattern of a cube. A specific sensor (color-sensitive) must be built in order for the robot to register the patterns and respond to it accurately based on built-in programs.

I have a no idea about any robots out there built for the same function, the idea of benjediman caught my attention about the robot's eye (or any part in that purpose).

I also thought of letting the robot unscramble a solved cube by itself with a programmed algorithms and solve the cube from that, wouldn't that be helpful? (though limited)...my two cents

Smile

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by benjediman on Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:09 am

Nice thoughts, dalton. However, the RuBot series may have already beaten us even to those feats. The RuBot even talks.

But hey, maybe we can think of other ideas that would be very unique for Mr. Robert's thesis.

What has been never done before is a robot with five actual fingers on two arms, and using them like a normal cuber would.

Anyways, I believe Mr. Robert has to contact the developers of ACube or Cube Explorer, if such is the case that he will be using either program.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by robert_papalid_ece on Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:53 pm

Thanks everyone for the reply.
I really appreciate it.

Ngayon lang ako nakapaglogin ulit, sorry for the very late response.

Thanks.

To Benjediman and Jome:
I am actually trying to make a Robotic Cube Solver for my thesis proposal that deals with Artificial Neural Network applications. That is, with Artificial Intellegence, we can make programs/robots having a gift of seemingly "decision-making skills".
The robot would analyze the "current" color arrangement of the cube, and try to decide the best move, or series of moves to be performed.
I will be making a "thinking" robot, and not the sequential type of robots that you are implying.
The current pattern of the cube can easily be captured, instantaneously, with the help of a camera, and some image processing technology, with programming of course.

I believe, that this will gonna be the first step for my proposal.
I am pretty much confident that I can make this project successful, though with just some limited resources.

Currently, I am now trying to code the program that would control the problem solving algorithm of the system.
I have learned just recently some basic techniques in solving the cube, and used these techniques in making my tentative program.

I still have a lot of time actually, to be more accurate, more than a year to prepare the thesis proposal.
This project is for my thesis proposal in my MS ECE program.

And as I have said, this could be the beginning of it.
I am just significantly overwhelmed for the generosity and support coming from the Pinoy Speed Cubers Society.

Thanks talaga for the help.
Maybe I will just buzz all of you for some developments of my project.
Still have to confirm this idea to my professor if will it be valid.

For now,
Thank you very much and more power.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by marc_rendl on Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:59 pm

@robert papalid ece:

download CubeExplorer program, a cube solving program capable of solving the scrambled rubik's cube at an potentially optimal number of moves.

here is the link regarding the said program and the mathematics behind it

http://kociemba.org/cube.htm

i also suggest that you should read about a branch of mathematics called the "group theory" in order to understand the site's explanation on the program. here is one link that might help

http://www.ryanheise.com/cube/

in addition, i would like to say that the program was previously used to make a cube solving robot. The program is also capable of making a solution to the rubik's cube with the aid of a webcam (a potential eye for the robot). As benjdman and jome said before, this was used for Rubot 1 and 2.

in my opinion, cube explorer is better than ACUBE for some reasons:

1)more likely cube explorer is more bug-free since it had more revisions/debugging than acube (by the way, acube was derived from cube explorer, so more or less they have the same concept of algorithms)

2)the site of cube explorer program explains its algorithm neatly and elegantly. i think that the algorithm of this program is very well established since it is based on mathematical procedures.

3)well yeah, acube was pretty good too but the cube explorer is more user-friendly and has a webcam support.

i, too, am so overwhelmed by the fact that a filipino is really working on a cube-solving robot. i am happy that there is another interesting thread here in PCA forums. so i am glad to help you out coz i am also interested in programming.

to brief you with the algorithm used (i will try not to say mathematical terms since this is explained in the site given):

the algorithm is called TWO-PHASE-ALGORITHM
definition-wise, the program actually does 2 sub-algorithms:

algorithm 1:
the cube explorer solves the "current/scrambled" state of the cube and "unscrambles" it "incompletely." this algorithm solves the cube partially, leaving the cube into a "less complicated" state. then it counts the number of "moves" the algorithm 1 has. let that number be called "A."

algorithm 2:
the cube explorer gets the optimal number of moves (call this "B") to solve the cube from the "state" where algorithm 1 has left the cube and thus solving it "completely," i.e. all sides of the cube have only one color.

then the cube gets A+B=X. X should be the least number of cube solves. if not, the program does another "algorithm 1" and that said algo must be "at least A+1"(call this "C") number of moves then HOPEFULLY another "algorithm 2" with "less than B" number of moves(call this "D").

then the program hopefully gets a value Y less than X where Y=C+D. if not, the algorithm goes on and on until it finds an "potentially optimal" solution.

NOTE: when i said "potentially optimal," i hope, and i know you did (i wrote this part for the sake of other readers), you get that the solution given by the program might not be the "real optimal" solution.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

another thing that might help: google up GOD'S ALGORITHM for solving the Rubik's Cube.

thanks for trusting PCA with your thesis proposal!!! i hope you enjoy our company!!!

_________________
LET:
>>cxcxc be a Rubik's Cube
>>U be the set of all tangible Rubik's Cubes,
>>i.e., U={cxcxc | c is an integer and lies in the interval [2,11]}
>>C be the set of my cubes on hand
>>S={2, 3, 4, 5}
MY CUBES ON HAND CAN BE THE DESCRIBED BY THE SET C where...
>>C={nxnxn element of set U | n is an element of S}


UPD. MATH MAJOR. PERIOD.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by robert_papalid_ece on Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:26 pm

Those information were really helpful.
I am now trying to read and study the links that you have given.
These approach of a problem solving technique, in this case, a Rubik's cube puzzle, is really amazing.
Thank you very much for the interest.

But maybe, I will try using a different approach or algorithm.
Because it would be very invalid if we will just to totally copy the concepts used by one technology or another; considering one of the criteria of a thesis proposal is novelty, right?
But I could use the said algorithms: Two-Phase-Algorithm and God's Algorithm as my references, in case.

I have already downloaded the program. And maybe I will try to study it.
Thank you very much marc for sharing me these information.

Maybe, if I will be done with my tentative program, I could send a limited copy to the people here in Pinoy Speed Cubers, and ask for your professional feedbacks.

Thanks again for the overflowing support, interest, and generosity.
I was not really expecting this reaction or response from the people of the Pinoy Speed Cubers.

Maybe I could meet some of you, if given the chance.
I am from Cebu, and have been staying here in Manila to pursue my Masters. I have read on the main page of this website, that there will be an event called Cebu Open this April 19 to be held at USC?
And I will be home next week.
Could I attend? I mean, is it a free admission event?

I want to meet people like all of you to learn something new.

By the way, I have solved my first Rubik's cube last Sunday. And I tried to take note of my time after every succesful solving of the puzzle. My average was 7 to 10 minutes. Hope I could still improve. lol!

Thanks again and more, more, more, more power.
God Bless.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by chaos2121 on Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:36 pm

you are welcome to join the open

you can learn many optimized algos if you ever join

the open, you can learn and improve with them

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by pancho86 on Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:44 pm

yes sir pede po kau sumali sa darating na Cebu Open, for the venue and date: http://www.worldcubeassociation.org/results/c.php?i=CebuOpen2008

regarding the admission fee, visit nyo na lang po ung threads about the Cebu Open sa COMPETITIONS SECTION di2 sa forums natin...

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by jusay_mitch29 on Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:30 pm

if you are going to the cebu open look for jbcañares if ever he is there

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by chaos2121 on Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:32 pm

he willl be there he is the fastest cuber in cebu i think?

heheeh

is the moderator of the open better find him ok??

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by marc_rendl on Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:17 pm

I suggest you send these people your program to get the most professional advice:

JB Canares: He is the fastest Filipino we all know. A forum moderator. since he is the fastest and he is one of the forerunners of PCA forums, i assume he is the one of those cubers who is very well informed on how the cube works.

Benjo Enriquez:He is also a moderator, although he does not post that much nor he visits PCA forums often. He does attend most of the cube-meets. He took up BS Mathematics in UP Diliman, same as my course. His undergraduate research (i personally read it before in the College of Sci Library, though i did not understand some parts of it) explained how the Rubik's Cube (the 3x3x3 cube, i mean) works in mathematical terms, in which he also used group theory. He also stated mathematical proofs for the "impossible cases/configuration" of the Rubik's Cube. I really think that he is the best PCA can offer.

Comp programmers in PCA: I dont really personally know who are comp programmers in PCA but i believe they can help you out with algorithms. I am interested in ComSci but too bad im studying math now so i don't really program that much anymore as i did in my 1st year in UPD and as well during my high school days...

you are always welcome here at PCA

_________________
LET:
>>cxcxc be a Rubik's Cube
>>U be the set of all tangible Rubik's Cubes,
>>i.e., U={cxcxc | c is an integer and lies in the interval [2,11]}
>>C be the set of my cubes on hand
>>S={2, 3, 4, 5}
MY CUBES ON HAND CAN BE THE DESCRIBED BY THE SET C where...
>>C={nxnxn element of set U | n is an element of S}


UPD. MATH MAJOR. PERIOD.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by robert_papalid_ece on Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:05 am

If I could manage to sneak some time, I will surely attend the event. For sure, I could learn something there which I could be able to use for my project; and of course, meet some people.

Thanks for the info.

To marc:
That is what I am planning. After finishing the program that I am currently making, I could send you and other interested people here, a copy of it. Maybe just the executable file, not the source code, of course. Probably, as early as next month or as late as two months from now. Still have other things to do, aside from this one. I could actually finish the development of the program if just given one straight week or maybe even lesser, of straight dedicated work.

Well anyway, I will just take it slow. As I've mentioned, I still have more than year to prepare. So no pressure at all as of this moment.

Maybe you could just give me (PM) your e-mail addresses; and I would just attach the file, if it won't exceed 1MB. Don't worry, I won't attach any form of virus whatsoever on my e-mail.

I will just post if the program is already available.
Hopefully a month from now or two.
And your feedbacks will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Pinoy Speed Cubers!

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by marc_rendl on Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:39 am

what programming language are you going to use? i dont know many of them, so i suggest you use the tools that explain the algorithms at the side of every (actually,im not asking not "every") line of your code. for example in C++, it uses "/* */" signs for notes/comments

_________________
LET:
>>cxcxc be a Rubik's Cube
>>U be the set of all tangible Rubik's Cubes,
>>i.e., U={cxcxc | c is an integer and lies in the interval [2,11]}
>>C be the set of my cubes on hand
>>S={2, 3, 4, 5}
MY CUBES ON HAND CAN BE THE DESCRIBED BY THE SET C where...
>>C={nxnxn element of set U | n is an element of S}


UPD. MATH MAJOR. PERIOD.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by jusay_mitch29 on Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:11 pm

sana ung robot na gagawin mo may abilitly na i break in ung cube nakakatamad kasi amg break in e

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by marc_rendl on Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:18 pm

@jusay_mitch29:
is this a joke? hindi po ganun ang gagawin niyang robot. please read previous posts.

_________________
LET:
>>cxcxc be a Rubik's Cube
>>U be the set of all tangible Rubik's Cubes,
>>i.e., U={cxcxc | c is an integer and lies in the interval [2,11]}
>>C be the set of my cubes on hand
>>S={2, 3, 4, 5}
MY CUBES ON HAND CAN BE THE DESCRIBED BY THE SET C where...
>>C={nxnxn element of set U | n is an element of S}


UPD. MATH MAJOR. PERIOD.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by robert_papalid_ece on Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:13 am

To marc_rendl:
Im currently coding in VB6; but if the processing/computing tends to become slow, maybe I could use Visual C++ for that case. C++ is way faster. I am still in the early stages; so major modifications can still be possible.

The main point here is to create a "program" that can solve a Rubik's cube. Creating the "mechanical robotic hardware" is not actually that as important. A program is enough. But it would be more challenging to build a moving robot though.

Making the hardware is not the main concept of this proposal; but the algorithmic software/program itself. Once the program is done, the mechanical side can then be easily implemented. We could even incorporate voice; to comply previous suggestions of a "talking robot". But as I have said, that is not even the point. But the program, it is.

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by Jome on Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:44 am

Aha. So you are from DLSU. I live at Dominga, btw, so it can be pretty easy to help you with this. Although I must admit, I do not know even an inkling of coding/programming/software. Haha.

But if you need someone to explain the basic concepts, I can help.

_________________
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3x3x3 PB ave.: of 10, 18.37s; of 5, 17.62s
Official WCA Record

Will kill spammers for free.
No, my pic is not edited. I've got red eyes! Beware, spammers!

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by gian_oneil on Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:08 pm

gagamit k b ng color sensor??

kung marunong k gumamit ng color sensor.. bka makatulong ako sayo,..... madali lng vb6..... tsaka anung motor b gagmitin mo...servo b??

kailangan lng cguro ng mga sets of codes per algo. na gagawin ng robot.....

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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

Post by robert_papalid_ece on Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:05 am

To Jome:
Yeah. Thanks for the offer Jome. I am not so familiar with the place (Dominga). Considering I am from Cebu, and just started to stay sa Manila last January. So, I am not yet that familiar with the place, except sa La Salle areas.
That's what I need Jome. That is the reason why I shared my project with all of you. What I want to know, are the concepts of solving the cube. Leave the programming with me. While in the first place, the most important thing is knowing the concepts/algorithms of cube solving; and the programming or the implementation would then follow.
As of now, I am still in the process of developing the program. And as I have mentioned, this could be possibly finished as early as next month or as late as two months. But surely, Pinoy Speed Cubers will be the first one to know; and as I have previously mentioned, I will be sending you the copy of the program (once done), for your professional feedbacks.

To gian_oneil:
Actually gian, I am still not thinking yet of the mechanical part of the project; but currently on the software part. I am doing this project alone, of course with the help the Pinoy Speed Cuber's advises and support, and I have to take it one by one. Firstly, doing the program, and then later, designing the hardware robotic mechanism.
But I guess, I will not be using any color sensor just to capture the cube's color; but a camera (webcam) will do instead. Just imagine, securing 54 color sensors, for each of the cube's squares. Right?

robert_papalid_ece
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Re: Robotic Rubik's Cube Solver for Thesis Proposal

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