# Can a computer be programed to solve a Rubik's Cube?

I’m talking about handing it any randomly mixed cube and having it solve it for you.

sure.

Not only is it not really that hard to write a program to do a Rubik’s cube, you can build a robot to do the rest of the work for you:

http://mindstorms.lego.com/eng/inventions/invention.asp?ID={72BAE2EC-A6EC-5037-5BA0-01A93E6787FC}&slotN=2

A much cooler Rubik’s solving robot.

I have a program that solves a 5-dimensional rubiks-cube. With animations! This is good, because I have trouble with the three-dimensional version.

Here is the one I use:

It is “qube”

It is easier to set up than the others listed, as it actually models the cube in 3 dimensions.

I was on my Computer Science department’s graduate qualifying exam comm. back when the cube came out. Guess what the programming exam part of the test was on?

They had something like 3 days to do it in. One guy even did a graphical version with mouse control. Easy as pi.

I actually had a book back in the day that gave the optimum algorithm, so you could do it quickly by hand.

(emphasis mine)

If that’s the case, you better contact someone because it’s currently an unsolved problem.

Uh… There was meant to be an emphasis on the optimum.

I know all the reasons given for not allowing editing but I still think it’s a stupid decision.

I remember those books. IIRC, no matter how the cube was randomized, it could be reset in 9 or fewer moves, or a similarly small number.

17, but that argument is just that 17 moves can get to at least n states where n is bigger than the number of cube states. AFAIK nobody has really calculated by hand the diameter of Rubik’s group.

Weird. I was just talking about this to someone today.

Here’s a good video of the machine in action: