This is a Rubik’s Cube that contains electric motors and sensors so that it can automatically solve itself. This project was created for the course MECH 423: Mechatronics. However, it never really worked as well as we intended.
I created this with my project partners Vicky Wang and John Yuen. A Youtube Video shows the cube rotating one of its faces while John is narrating.
2 Mechanical design
I did most of the mechanical design for this project, while my project partners worked on the electrical aspect. The cube consists of 26 cubies surrounding a spherical core. The core consists of two halves, each with three motors. The bottom cubie has a hole in it allowing a stem to support the cube and let wires pass through. The motors used are the Solarbotics Gear Motor 7, chosen for its high torque and small size.
All parts were printed using a PP3DP.
The cubies are of varying colours since we ran out of some materials while printing. The intention was to paint them in the end, but we did not have enough time to do so.
3 Electrical design
The idea was to use QRD1114 brightness sensors in the core to read black-and-white encoders on the interior surface of the cubies.
Due to thermal stresses arising from the 3D printing process, the cubies vary in some dimensions by up to 5 mm and may be curved. Therefore, the twisting action is prone to jamming. However, under ideal conditions, we have found the motor is indeed capable of turning an entire face.