26-Foot-Tall Rubik's Cube Is Even Harder to Solve

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26 feet tall and still just as hard to figure out. [Photo: Groovik]

It first appeared at Burning Man, providing a guiding light in the wastes, and now it's coming to Seattle's Pacific Science Center. What is it? Why, it's a huge 26-foot Rubik’s cube that can actually be solved. It takes 3 people, however, and they stand apart from each other (60ft-Burning Man, 30ft-PacSci) and each participant only gets to rotate one axis. Created by Groove Studios, they call it the “Groovik’s Cube.”

As the Groovik site puts it:

"Groovik's Cube offers a unique new playing mode consisting of three players who must collaborate to solve the classic Rubik's cube puzzle. The cube is controlled via three touch screen interfaces located around the cube, with each interface capable of rotating only one axis of the cube - no single player can solve the cube alone."

I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too: The giant cube doesn’t rotate and turn in the air as if it were being solved by Yoda. The cube, which is built from steel and fabric, is lit from the inside with powerful LEDs, so it just has to change the color being displayed to reflect the moves made by the players.

Not having to move and rotate an enormous steel Rubik’s cube also allows people, as in 3 of them, to compete for the fastest solving time possible. The Groovik’s Cube has only been solved 6 times with the fastest time so far was at Burning Man, surprisingly enough, where 3 people puzzled it out with a time of just 46 minutes. I wonder how long it took them to find threepeople at Burning Man who could work together well enough to solve the massive Rubik’s cube.

Weighing in at a little over 2 tons (4500 lbs), the huge cube can be mounted on a steel pole and secured by guy-lines. Surprisingly, all the lights in the cube use only as much energy as 2 hair dryers. It's pretty impressive considering how bright the cube looks in some of the pictures.

They’re building a Groovik for the Pacific Science Center right now, and as of this writing, there are three videos up showing the first few days of construction in quick time-lapses. We've embedded the most recent one above, but check out the Pacific Science Center's YouTube channel for the earlier ones.

How fast do you think you and two of your best Rubik’s Cube solving friends could finish it in? Leave a comment below.

[Groovik via io9]

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