Rubik's 360

The Rubik's 360 is an obscure puzzle that was released February 5, 2009. It is a mechanical puzzle that resembles a transparent sphere with one hole, trapped inside a transparant sphere with two holes trapped inside a sphere with 6 different coloured hollow domes protuding from the surface and two black knobs on the sides to operate a turning mechanism. The object of the Rubik's 360 is to get each of the six different coloured balls (red, orange, yellow, blue, white and green) contained in the centre-sphere into it's corresponding colour dome on the outer-sphere. The domes are set on two seperate hemispheres, three on each.

Construction

The middle sphere is weighted deliberatley to cause the escape hole to rest at the top of the sphere, thus creating the logic problem of how to get the coloured balls out of the sphere. This sphere is attatched with two offset struts to the intermittant-sphere. The intermittant-sphere is similary weighted to the middle sphere, causing the holes to rest at the top. This sphere has two offset holes, each corresponding to a hemisphere of domes.

The gaps between the spheres are not wide enough to allow the balls to fit inbetween, thus to solve the puzzle you need to "carry" the balls around each sphere and "pass" the balls inbetween the holes in the spheres. This puzzle is particular notorious for you succeeding in getting a ball to the outer sphere only for it to be in the wrong hemisphere, as passing the balls inbetween the two seperate hemispheres requires you to return the ball to the middle and try again.

An infuriating property of this puzzle is that you can be as careful as you like, but you may still go past a balancing point, the inner spheres will swing freely for one second and the ball you have been toiling over falls back into the middle.

Summary

The Rubik's 360 is different from most other puzzles because there are no applicable algorithms and the puzzle may be solved just with random shaking, although that is unlikely. This puzzle requires much less thought than any twisty puzzle and is more of of a manual-dexterity puzzle than a thought puzzle, in that respect it resembles the Magic.

See also