Artifact Details

Title

Instant Insanity video from Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL)

Catalog Number

102743240

Type

Moving image

Date

1971

Publisher

Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Duration

00:06:00

Format

MPEG

Description

A computer vision system and robotic arm solve the Instant Insanity puzzle, which has been around form more than a century under various aliases. It consists of a set of four cubes with one of four colors on each of their six faces. The goal is to arrange the four cubes in a row so that all four colors appear on each of the row's four long sides. The order of the cubes doesn't matter, but that simplicity is deceptive. There are 41,472 different ways of arranging the four cubes in a row.

The computer vision system first finds each of the four cubes by matching the visual edges to a prototype cube. In the case of a cube with only two faces visible, the arm turns the cube 45 degrees so that three faces will be visible. The colors of the faces are then determined by reading in the scene again under three different color filters. The cubes are then turned over so that the three hidden back faces are visible to the camera and the process repeated. Once a solution is found the computer directs the arm to stack the blocks in the required order.

Credit

Gift of Les Earnest

Lot Number

X5866.2011