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Making the cube look easy

Schools

Solving a Rubik’s Cube can be a frustrating exercise for many, however Abinav Murugappa has impressed teachers and fellow students at St Martin de Porres School by building a robot that makes it look easy.

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When principal Craig Fosdike organised a competition to encourage students to solve the Rubik’s Cube in the quickest time, Abinav decided to put his robotics knowledge into practice.

Although he can complete the cube without any help in an impressive 1 minute and 21 seconds, Abinav thought it would be an interesting challenge to build a robot that could do it for you.

He downloaded a program and a set of Lego building instructions and after many attempts managed to put together a robot that solves the cube. Abinav said he was grateful for the little bit of help he received from his elder brother, with the most difficult process being the uploading of code to make the robot work. This included downloading software and drivers and following complex code through many trial and error actions.

Mr Fosdike was so impressed with Abinav’s effort that he sent him on a tour of the school so he could show the robot to every class. He also filmed the robot in action and shared it on the school’s YouTube channel, with the video receiving more than 104,000 views.

Abinav’s interest in robotics should have seen him travelling to Greece last month to compete at the World Lego Robotics Competition, however it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Year 6 student is a member of Roboroos, a Lego robotics club that includes students from Years 4 to 9 from schools all over Adelaide. The club meets every Sunday afternoon and competed against 43 other local clubs to win the South Australian robotics title this year. After placing fifth at the nationals, the team qualified to go to the world championships.

Mr Fosdike said he is now encouraging Abinav to start a robotics club at the school so other students can also learn how to create amazing things using Lego.

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