World's largest Rubik's Cube you can solve by hand

University of Michigan mechanical engineering students have built "the world's largest hand-solvable, stationary" Rubik's Cube. Fashioned primarily from aluminum, it weighs 1,500 pounds but can be manipulated by one person. The puzzle is available for solving in the campus's mechanical engineering building. From Michigan Engineering:

They realized they couldn’t simply scale up the approach a handheld cube relies on because the friction would be too great. So to keep friction minimal, they devised a setup that utilizes rollers and transfer bearings.

“This is a truly amazing and unique kinematic mechanism that functions as a Rubik's cube,” said Noel Perkins, the Donald T. Greenwood Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and advisor to the students.

“There is no other human-manipulable cube like this, to the best of our knowledge. That said, it is not technically the largest cube. We're aware of a larger cube that requires the user to literally roll it on the ground to solve and rotate the faces. None of that is required by our stationary design. So to be very precise, it is the world's largest stationary, human manipulable Rubik's cube.”

Notable Replies

  1. Check your altimeter, please.

  2. tekk says:

    Huh, that could actually be pretty fun for a VR game. Gotta solve the rubik's cube to unlock the pulls for your chute. Expensive setup though, you'd probably need one of those indoor skydiving places.

  3. I loved that video!

    Like the actual project was cool and all, but what I really loved was the sense of relief from all these students that they were finally going to be rid of this fucking albatross that landed on them from the previous year and Professor Perkins can finally get back to real work.

    Also, my favourite line:

    Either red or yellow. Actually, no! It really matters...

  4. agies says:

    No one is disputing your size claim. It's just that the cube here can be manipulated around a fixed point which is an impressive feat of engineering. Even more so because the project was handed off between two teams of undergrads.

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