Rubik's cube is no challenge for teen's robot

- Its six colorful sides have frustrated many over the years, but not Zack Gromko.

"In sixth grade, I had a friend who started cubing. It started to draw big crowds," he said.

Right away he tried to tackle the Rubik's cube, but wasn't happy with his results.

"Unfortunately,  I was slow. The crowds weren't too happy with that.  I would lose attention," he continued.

So Zack studied the cube and put his knowledge and research to work.

"It really comes down to problem solving and thinking algorithmically how to accomplish the alignment of the colors," he said.

Zack got faster over the years and learned more.  Two years ago, the senior at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Bradenton saw a robot that solved the cube and he figured he could do it better.

He went to work designing his own.

Zack can solve the cube in about 17 seconds, but with his robot he can do it in a second and a half.

"Even the best human methods up at this point can take 60 turns, but really any cube can be solved in less than 20 turns," he explained.

The robot has six arms, two cameras and a computer brain.  The cameras reconstruct a 3-D image of the cube, the computer figures out where all the colors go, and the arms speak for themselves.

"It finally sends the message to computer. It happens roughly in 55 milliseconds. Faster than you can process it," said Zack.

It's faster than you can blink an eye -- so fast that Zack will try to beat the Guinness world record tomorrow afternoon with his robot.

"I have done it purely because this is what I love to do," he added.

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