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A completely different technological approach for smart cubes

kubesolver

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
158
Yes to the first two paragraphs.
But VR simulators do track a lot of small fast moving pieces and their view is often obstructed. In full body VR a person has several points on head, legs, torso and arms and they are being tracked in real-time at relatively high fps.
 

Wish Lin

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
647
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
WCA
2018LINW02
#This is still in prototype stage. Don't put too much hope on it#


This prototype is a smart 2x2 system that can be installed on ANY 2X2!! It is also super cheap(~$20)

(Simplified)Appearance:
overall look.png

The most important piece of technology in this prototype are Hall sensors: They are sensors that can sense changes in the magnetic field. On a L-shaped frame, there are 8 hall sensors arranged like this:


hall sensor pos.png
And the 2x2 will embedded with 24 magnets on every piece facing outward, like this(1 of the magnets):

magnet pos.png
The idea is simple: when you turn the cube, at least 2 of the 8 hall sensors will detect a difference in the magnetic field, thus we can detect turns.

There is still a small problem though: although the turns can be detected, but the direction cannot(i.e. it can't tell R from R'). I have a clever trick to solve this problem, but I will not publish it now.



Rough Calculation for the price(This will get even lower if it ever gets mass produced):

  • 8 Hall sensors: 10¢ each
  • Arduino Nano: $4
  • Magnets: $1.5
  • 2x2(Meilong 2x2): $1.5
  • 3D printed Frame: Roughly $6 (will be close to zero if injection molded)
  • All the other stuff: $5
Total: $19(!!!!!!!!)
 
Last edited:

Wish Lin

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
647
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
WCA
2018LINW02
If this gets improved and optimised we could have cheap smart cube tech for any cube for like $10. Wow. I can't wait until this gets refined into a phyisical working design. =D
Ha! I hope this happens as well, but apparently I still got a long way to go....:)If my plans go right, the first prototype will be finished before summer.
 

Wish Lin

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
647
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
WCA
2018LINW02
Update: I just bought a MF2S and here is the overall look:
95E4D647-46CA-4741-B592-5C075D6FC4A8.jpeg
This is the magnet I currently plan to use (4x2 N35):
0F152C69-8A36-49C3-914E-10BB9D22D359.jpeg
And this is where I plan to put them:

5653E9AD-9480-455A-861D-BD1C3C1CA6AA.jpeg
But there is a problem: the strength of these magnets are quite weak. In fact, at the 3cm distance(distance between it and the sensor when working), it can’t even pick up a stapler pin.

I am not sure whether the Hall sensor I use will use detect it clearly, but if it doesn’t, I can simply use a more precise Hall sensor, which I know where to buy, just a bit more expensive.

I can’t change to stronger magnets because that means bigger(without adding the N numbers, of course) magnets and I think this 4x2 size is the biggest size can be fit into all 2x2 designs, so......not an option.

I am planning to use AH3503 linear Hall sensor for now BTW.
 

ProStar

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Messages
3,446
Location
An uncolonized sector of the planet Mars
WCA
2020MAHO01
#This is still in prototype stage. Don't put too much hope on it#


This prototype is a smart 2x2 system that can be installed on ANY 2X2!! It is also super cheap(~$20)

(Simplified)Appearance:
View attachment 11435

The most important piece of technology in this prototype are Hall sensors: They are sensors that can sense changes in the magnetic field. On a L-shaped frame, there are 8 hall sensors arranged like this:


View attachment 11434
And the 2x2 will embedded with 24 magnets on every piece facing outward, like this(1 of the magnets):

View attachment 11436
The idea is simple: when you turn the cube, at least 2 of the 8 hall sensors will detect a difference in the magnetic field, thus we can detect turns.

There is still a small problem though: although the turns can be detected, but the direction cannot(i.e. it can't tell R from R'). I have a clever trick to solve this problem, but I will not publish it now.



Rough Calculation for the price(This will get even lower if it ever gets mass produced):

  • 8 Hall sensors: 10¢ each
  • Arduino Nano: $4
  • Magnets: $1.5
  • 2x2(Meilong 2x2): $1.5
  • 3D printed Frame: Roughly $6 (will be close to zero if injection molded)
  • All the other stuff: $5
Total: $19(!!!!!!!!)
Woah, so I could make a 4x4 smart cube?
 

CuberStache

Member
Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
584
Location
Washington State, USA
WCA
2016DAVI02
YouTube
Visit Channel
This prototype is a smart 2x2 system that can be installed on ANY 2X2!! It is also super cheap(~$20)
This is awesome! How precisely do you have to hold the cube? It looks to me like if you angle the cube differently or move it too far away, it won't work properly. Is this something that can be fine-tuned by better sensors and/or magnets? Or is it not a problem at all? I love your thinking and I really hope this becomes a thing at some point. Smart megaminx ftw!
 

Wish Lin

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
647
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
WCA
2018LINW02
This is awesome! How precisely do you have to hold the cube? It looks to me like if you angle the cube differently or move it too far away, it won't work properly. Is this something that can be fine-tuned by better sensors and/or magnets? Or is it not a problem at all? I love your thinking and I really hope this becomes a thing at some point. Smart megaminx ftw!
Unfortunately, you have to place it quite precisely, so it will effect the fluency of the solve and possible applications on big cubes, of course.

But still, this is the first attempt of making a smart cube without a smart core.
 

Spacey10

Member
Joined
May 11, 2020
Messages
60
Unfortunately, you have to place it quite precisely, so it will effect the fluency of the solve and possible applications on big cubes, of course.

But still, this is the first attempt of making a smart cube without a smart core.
Could you somehow have electromagnets that detect when a magnet is being pulled on? And to identify which magnets is being pulled on, you could change the strength of the magnets very slightly for every magnet, and the difference would not be felt by the cuber, but the change in magnet strength would be felt by the Arduino, which allows the cube to know which magnet it is touching and where that piece is. It would also mean you could do corner twists without affecting the system because the Arduino would know what the magnet strength is, and so we can recognize it.

An example would be like this:
Turns a side
Arduino: checks magnet strength and the Arduino already knows which piece the magnet is attached to
Sends magnet strength to app or something, which can make the 3D model
 

brododragon

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1,972
Location
Null Island
Could you somehow have electromagnets that detect when a magnet is being pulled on? And to identify which magnets is being pulled on, you could change the strength of the magnets very slightly for every magnet, and the difference would not be felt by the cuber, but the change in magnet strength would be felt by the Arduino, which allows the cube to know which magnet it is touching and where that piece is. It would also mean you could do corner twists without affecting the system because the Arduino would know what the magnet strength is, and so we can recognize it.

An example would be like this:
Turns a side
Arduino: checks magnet strength and the Arduino already knows which piece the magnet is attached to
Sends magnet strength to app or something, which can make the 3D model
Something so slight probably won't work, because of real world conditions. First off all, you probably couldn't sense something so slight. Even if you could, things like dropping it or just intented use could wear the magnets unevenly. Also, things like cube flex would make that impossible.
 

Spacey10

Member
Joined
May 11, 2020
Messages
60
Something so slight probably won't work, because of real world conditions. First off all, you probably couldn't sense something so slight. Even if you could, things like dropping it or just intented use could wear the magnets unevenly. Also, things like cube flex would make that impossible.
But the Arduino could somehow detect the amount of volts coming from the electromagnets. But for the rest, I have no clue.
 

Wish Lin

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
647
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
WCA
2018LINW02
Could you somehow have electromagnets that detect when a magnet is being pulled on? And to identify which magnets is being pulled on, you could change the strength of the magnets very slightly for every magnet, and the difference would not be felt by the cuber, but the change in magnet strength would be felt by the Arduino, which allows the cube to know which magnet it is touching and where that piece is. It would also mean you could do corner twists without affecting the system because the Arduino would know what the magnet strength is, and so we can recognize it.

An example would be like this:
Turns a side
Arduino: checks magnet strength and the Arduino already knows which piece the magnet is attached to
Sends magnet strength to app or something, which can make the 3D model
I have thought about that, but just as @brododragon said, the change is way to small(the space inside a cubie is very limited), and also, even if I did somehow get a good enough sensor for that, it will not be cheap, and the earth’s magnetic field will make the whole thing 10x more complicated.
 

Wish Lin

Member
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Messages
647
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
WCA
2018LINW02
Another fundamental problem is that linear hall sensor isn’t actual linear, it has saturation zones, so any magnetic field that is too weak(in my case, yes) will simply be indistinguishable.

Also, Arduino’s only has a 10-bit ADC, meaning the smallest voltage change it can sense is 5/2^10 = 0.004 Volt, which is unfortunately, still not accurate enough.
 

brododragon

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Location
Null Island
Another fundamental problem is that linear hall sensor isn’t actual linear, it has saturation zones, so any magnetic field that is too weak(in my case, yes) will simply be indistinguishable.

Also, Arduino’s only has a 10-bit ADC, meaning the smallest voltage change it can sense is 5/2^10 = 0.004 Volt, which is unfortunately, still not accurate enough.
are you gonna switch to a more advanced Arduino (also, which are you using right now?)?
 

FinnTheCuber

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Apr 14, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Yes
Update: The suitable technology has been found: It’s called RSSI, and I found most modern UHF RFID systems probably have it!

I’ll update again when I know more about it and comes up with a detailed plan.
I didn't know uhf was used for rfid. ( I have a ham radio technition license)
 
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