A few weeks ago Lex and I came across building plans for his Lego Mindstorm. New plans, different than the original three that came with the set. Lex perused the options and decided to try one called MindCuber that, in theory, could solve a Rubik’s Cube. This seemed exciting and somewhat impossible to both of us.
We have all, as a family, been working on this project for weeks now. Lex built the MindCuber, following the given instructions, and then I tried to help him download the program to the NXT box. Unfortunately I ran into complications and we had to wait for our tech support (ie: Alan!) to come home. Finally the program was on the box and we gave it a shot. No good. It was wobbly and didn’t work at all. We talked about troubleshooting steps and tightening up the connections, but Lex decided to rebuild instead.
On the second build the MindCuber successfully scanned the cube and came up with a plan to solve it, but each time it started solving it would jam. We were so excited that it successfully scanned and then enormously disappointed when it jammed over and over. This has been a roller coaster ride. :)
Fortunately the MindCuber developer has a helpful website and offers free support on his Facebook page. We read other people’s posts, did some troubleshooting of our own, bought a new cube, ran the problem by the developer, followed up with his feedback, lubricated the cube, adjusted the tension… all over the course of a few weeks. Lex even made his first iMovie with clips of the MindCuber not working so we could send it to the developer for troubleshooting. So many lessons in this experience!
Today… it worked!! We were all super excited to see the MindCuber solve our Rubik’s Cube. Now you can marvel with us as well.
Our neighbor was over and as soon as it solved the cube once he said, “Great, now let’s take it apart and make something else.” Lex and I both said “Noooo!!!!” We worked so hard on it. We need to enjoy it for awhile. :)
After dinner Lex decided to try writing a program that would “solve” in the Rubik’s cube into a checker board pattern instead of the usual way of solving it. He went right to work. Stay tuned.