Watch a robot solve a Rubik's cube in under .5 seconds

The new solve obliterates the previous sub-second record by a robot.

At .637 seconds, the previous record for a Rubik's cube solve by a robot was pretty impressive.

And still the new record-holder bested it by more than 40 percent with a surreal .38 second solve.

The contraption that managed the feat was built by Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo, who hacked it together in their spare time driven by little more than the satisfaction of solving an engineering challenge.

The speed improvement over previous attempts came as a result of the pair's decision to use better motors than previous competitors (Kollmorgen ServoDisc U9-series motors, if you're a hardware nut).

The motors are currently making each turn in 15ms, though the rated speed should allow for turns as fast as 10ms.

"The machine can definitely go faster," Katz writes in a blog post, "but the tuning process is really time consuming."

There's a wonderful step-by-step breakdown of the process on Katz's blog, which any engineering fan should check out.

Now here's some footage of a cube exploding! Sounds like they're having fun, doesn't it?