AI-powered robot learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube one-handed

Artificial intelligence research organization OpenAI has achieved a new milestone in its quest to build general purpose, self-learning robots. The group’s robotics division says Dactyl, its humanoid robotic hand first developed last year, has learned to solve a Rubik’s cube one-handed. OpenAI sees the feat as a leap forward both for the dexterity of robotic appendages and its own AI software, which allows Dactyl to learn new tasks using virtual simulations before it is presented with a real, physical challenge to overcome.

In a demonstration video showcasing Dactyl’s new talent, we can see the robotic hand fumble its way toward a complete cube solve with clumsy yet accurate maneuvers. It takes many minutes, but Dactyl is eventually able to solve the puzzle. It’s somewhat unsettling to see in action, if only because the movements look noticeably less fluid than human ones and especially disjointed when compared to the blinding speed and raw dexterity on display when a human speedcuber solves the cube in a matter of seconds.

But for OpenAI, Dactyl’s achievement brings it one step closer to a much sought-after goal for the broader AI and robotics industries: a robot that can learn to perform a variety of real-world

tasks, without having to train for months to years of real-world time and without needing to be specifically programmed.