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OpenAI Trains an AI to Solve a Rubik’s Cube with Just One Robot Hand

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

San Francisco based AI company OpenAI which counts Elon Musk among its backers has unveiled a robot which can solve a Rubik’s Cube which just one mechanical hand. The concept of a robot that can solve a Rubik’s Cube is not new, a team from MIT showed a dedicated Rubik’s Cube solving robot complete the task in just 0.38 seconds in early 2019. But the OpenAI solution involves just one human like robot hand which took almost 5 minutes to complete the task. Building devices that work like a human hand is a painstaking process in which engineers spend months laying down rules that define each tiny movement.The true breakthrough of the OpenAIproject was that the they did not program each movement into their robotic hand. That could have taken decades, if not centuries, considering the complexity of a mechanical device with a thumb and four fingers. OpenAI built a simulation which learned to solve the puzzle through trial and error, spending the equivalent of 10,000 years rotating and spinning the cube in the simulation and even using different cube sizes, weights and materials. The result is a robotic hand which has learned to perform a task that requires high amounts of dexterity that most humans would struggle with. As such this platform has huge potential for more useful applications in manufacturing, logistics and beyond.

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