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Robot scramblers in future WCA competitions

abunickabhi

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If say in a few years, we are able to make accurate scrambling robots, that can take input from TNoodle, and perform the scramble on any given cube for a round, what should be the ethics or rules that we should be formulating?

The scrambling bot should be able to scramble all types of puzzles (stickerless/black, 55mm/57mm, 3x3/sq-1), and it may have also some OCR tech to recognise which scramble has to be performed for that cube, and say a stamp to attest at the scrambler’s signature in the scorecard.

In the past, many solves have been misscrambled and some of them have even been WRs like Felik’s OH solve or Max’s OH solve. And also to scramble larger puzzles like 7x7, having human scramblers slows down the competition a lot.

There are lot of technological and logistic challenges to overcome before scrambling bots become a reality, but we should have some idea on how to adopt it into WCA competitions seamlessly. The main issue will be producing these bots at scale to deploy at every competition which will be a major problem, and also the cost of developing it. Fortunately, many cubers including myself are techies so we might develop it at bare minimum cost.

As a community, what kind of issues or situations, do you think will arise, once scramblers role is no longer a part of volunteering, and done independently by some machine.

More discussion on this topic on: https://forum.worldcubeassociation.org/t/robot-scramblers-in-future-wca-competitions/2409
 

CodingCuber

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If say in a few years, we are able to make accurate scrambling robots, that can take input from TNoodle, and perform the scramble on any given cube for a round, what should be the ethics or rules that we should be formulating?

The scrambling bot should be able to scramble all types of puzzles (stickerless/black, 55mm/57mm, 3x3/sq-1), and it may have also some OCR tech to recognise which scramble has to be performed for that cube, and say a stamp to attest at the scrambler’s signature in the scorecard.

In the past, many solves have been misscrambled and some of them have even been WRs like Felik’s OH solve or Max’s OH solve. And also to scramble larger puzzles like 7x7, having human scramblers slows down the competition a lot.

There are lot of technological and logistic challenges to overcome before scrambling bots become a reality, but we should have some idea on how to adopt it into WCA competitions seamlessly. The main issue will be producing these bots at scale to deploy at every competition which will be a major problem, and also the cost of developing it. Fortunately, many cubers including myself are techies so we might develop it at bare minimum cost.

As a community, what kind of issues or situations, do you think will arise, once scramblers role is no longer a part of volunteering, and done independently by some machine.

More discussion on this topic on: https://forum.worldcubeassociation.org/t/robot-scramblers-in-future-wca-competitions/2409
As I replied to this topic,

I like the idea of this. One problem I have is how easy it would be for people to connect to it. It would be most practical for it to connect to TNoodle via bluetooth (many already exist ie GAN robot, etc), however this is something that can easily be interfered with. Bluetooth devices can be detected by any smart phone, watch or computer and easily connected to. It honestly seems like a lot of extra work. An alternative solution would be a simple cube scanner that can check after a cube has been scrambled if it is the correct scramble (although implementing this with non-regular colour schemes would be difficult)

btw, I don't think it is necessary to move all these WCA Forum posts to here. The WCA Forum is specifically for posts about the WCA and competitions, not speedsolving in general.
 

abunickabhi

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As I replied to this topic,

I like the idea of this. One problem I have is how easy it would be for people to connect to it. It would be most practical for it to connect to TNoodle via bluetooth (many already exist ie GAN robot, etc), however this is something that can easily be interfered with. Bluetooth devices can be detected by any smart phone, watch or computer and easily connected to. It honestly seems like a lot of extra work. An alternative solution would be a simple cube scanner that can check after a cube has been scrambled if it is the correct scramble (although implementing this with non-regular colour schemes would be difficult)

btw, I don't think it is necessary to move all these WCA Forum posts to here. The WCA Forum is specifically for posts about the WCA and competitions, not speedsolving in general.
I moved a few interesting posts here, as there are a few people who do not discuss on the WCA Forums, and I wanted to get the more ideas into these topics.

I will not be importing all the discussions from WCA Forums and WCA Github,but just the ones, I feel need to be discussed a bit more, or needs to be revisited.
 

qwr

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I cannot seeing it be practical in the next few years, just because all the cubing robots that have been built have been expensive one-off projects. The GAN robot is the only mainstream product and it's expensive. I believe a robot is just something that's too niche and expensive, compared to money better spent on venues and getting stackmat timers. Mainstream robot use is quite limited, with most robots being used in controlled industrial environments and performing work 24/7. The most mainstream robot is a roomba and that is much simpler to design than a cube scramble bot. And one robot is not enough per competition so comps would need at least several.
 

RoundUpCubing

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I cannot seeing it be practical in the next few years, just because all the cubing robots that have been built have been expensive one-off projects. The GAN robot is the only mainstream product and it's expensive. I believe a robot is just something that's too niche and expensive, compared to money better spent on venues and getting stackmat timers. Mainstream robot use is quite limited, with most robots being used in controlled industrial environments and performing work 24/7. The most mainstream robot is a roomba and that is much simpler to design than a cube scramble bot. And one robot is not enough per competition so comps would need at least several.
With needing several robots, you might be thinking a bit too small. Nobody ever specified how many cube slots it should have, you could have one robot scramble multiple cubes at once. Financial/design aspect does come into play here tho.
 
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