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The World's Largest Free Standing Rubik's Cube

A giant Rubik’s Cube newly installed on the University of Michigan’s North Campus is believed to be the world’s largest hand-solvable, stationary version of the famous puzzle. Since it was invented in 1974, the Rubik’s cube has become the world’s best-selling puzzle game—one that introduced and promoted mathematical thinking to generations. Solving it involves recognizing patterns and developing and implementing algorithms. The colorful, new cube is meant to be touched and solved. The students worked hard to figure out a movement mechanism that would enable that. They realized they couldn’t simply scale up the approach a handheld cube relies on because the friction would be too great. So to keep friction minimal, they devised a setup that utilizes rollers and transfer bearings. “There is no other human-manipulable cube like this, to the best of our knowledge. That said, it is not technically the largest cube. We're aware of a larger cube that requires the user to literally roll it on the ground to solve and rotate the faces. None of that is required by our stationary design. So to be very precise, it is the world's largest stationary, human manipulable Rubik's cube.”

   

About Michigan Engineering: The University of Michigan College of Engineering is one of the top engineering schools in the country. Eight academic departments are ranked in the nation's top 10 -- some twice for different programs. Its research budget is one of the largest of any public university. Its faculty and students are making a difference at the frontiers of fields as diverse as nanotechnology, sustainability, healthcare, national security and robotics. They are involved in spacecraft missions across the solar system, and have developed partnerships with automotive industry leaders to transform transportation. Its entrepreneurial culture encourages faculty and students alike to move their innovations beyond the laboratory and into the real world to benefit society. Its alumni base of more than 75,000 spans the globe.