October 15, 2019 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Solving Rubik’s Cube with a Robot Hand [YouTube] “We’ve trained a pair of neural networks to solve the Rubik’s Cube with a human-like robot hand. The neural networks are trained entirely in simulation, using the same reinforcement learning code as OpenAI Five paired with a new technique called Automatic Domain Randomization (ADR). The system can handle situations it never saw during training, such as being prodded by a stuffed giraffe. [...] Solving a Rubik’s Cube one-handed is a challenging task even for humans, and it takes children several years to gain the dexterity required to master it. Our robot still hasn’t perfected its technique though, as it solves the Rubik’s Cube 60% of the time (and only 20% of the time for a maximally difficult scramble).” [via: Open AI]
posted by Fizz (8 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Explainer video. [YouTube]
posted by Fizz at 2:05 PM on October 15, 2019

a) holy fucking shit I just understood what "automation" is actually going to mean and realised I have absolutely no way to gauge or understand how fast things are changing.

b) I love how, after delicately coaxing the cube for minutes, flicking it with gentle precision into place, it seems to consider the slightly imperfect cube and say "eh, good enough".
posted by howfar at 2:27 PM on October 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

This hand's older brother solves it in 0.38 of a second. But then, it uses 6 hands.
posted by chavenet at 3:01 PM on October 15, 2019

Such a generalized solution working reasonably well is neat. Watching it fumble through attempts at discrete movements is an unsettlingly empathetic experience; it looks far more like a person struggling to make their hand work than the more familiar industrial-robot flavor of e.g. a hand-shaped robot trying to execute a sequence of instructions. The body horror and uncanny valley power of anime androids, all right there trying to solve a mechanical puzzle with a shaking and uncertain hand.

The constant shifting movement of the hand was itself just physically difficult for me to watch, though, in that it was inducing something like motion sickness.
posted by cortex at 3:13 PM on October 15, 2019

the video doesn't include the best bit, the Plush Giraffe Perturbation.
posted by scruss at 3:37 PM on October 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

posted by The Tensor at 4:29 PM on October 15, 2019

Now, see, what you really want is the 0.38 second cube solving robot.
posted by migurski at 6:37 PM on October 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

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