#640: Rubrick

Just because something is an incredibly clever mechanical design, needn’t preclude an electronic upgrade.

Todays invention is a(nother) Rubik’s cube which is simply more ‘today’ than 1975.

Take a solid cube of black plastic material. Embed on each face 9, colour-switchable leds, in a 3×3, grid pattern. Each led is also equipped with a simple light sensor.

This device operates by always ‘turning’ one end of the cube relative to the rest of it (ie what would have been the nine adjacent small cubes which formed an end face in the old-fashioned mechanical era). Place three fingers over the detectors on one, 3×1 face of this end-9 (not the end face, of course). Place the thumb over one of the squares in the 3x 1 on the opposite face.

This pattern of occlusion of the detectors immediately changes the colours of the lights to simulate the turning of one end of a traditional Rubik’s cube (This system could easily be extended all the way to cubes made of up to 4x4x4 small cubes).

Proceed to solve the puzzle as fast as possible, even in the dark.

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