Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Android Megaminxer On HTC Desire Solves Megaminx, Dodecahedron Rubik Puzzle

Android Megaminxer On HTC Desire
I am sure you have had Rubik's cube in your hands and some of you may have resolved it as well. Certainly we have seen fast Rubik's cube puzzle resolver, on TV, Youtube etc. What you are about to watch is dodecahedron Rubik's puzzle, Megaminx solved by a robot instructed by an Android powered HTC Desire..
The Megaminx is a dodecahedron with 12 faces, each with 5 edges. Each face can be rotated in a similar way to the well-known Rubik's Cube puzzle. I have one on my desk and I am yest to solve the puzzle. I do not spend a lot of time on it but I use it to collect my thoughts when distracted by too many ideas and projects.
The robot which actually does the mechanical legwork of resolving puzzle is built out of LEGO using a Mindstorms NXT kit. A custom Android app running on a HTC Desire is the brain of the solver.
"The Megaminxer uses the phone's camera to capture images of each face of the Megaminx which it then processes to determine the colors of the scrambled puzzle. After working out the solution, the app transmits the moves to the NXT controller via bluetooth to instruct it to solve the puzzle.
The mechanism used by Megaminxer has been adapted from the "MultiCuber" robot designs as seen in MultiCuber 777.
According to the real brains behind the whole thing, the most challenging parts of the mechanical design were creating pentagonal shaped rings and modifying the tilting mechanism to cope with the obtuse angles between edges and faces using LEGO bricks that more naturally form shapes with right angles.
The Megaminxer software uses an enhanced table-driven algorithm developed from one previously created for solving the standard 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube puzzle."
Enjoy the video and try not to look at the dancing Android too much.


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