A toy which needs intelligent approachThe development of a toy requiring an intelligent approach was not pre-conceived. It was developed by a teacher by name Erno Rubik who made a small tool to teach his students about certain problems in three dimensional relations. It was a typical cube which could be rotated in all possible positions, but fixed at the centre. It was in the year 1974 Rubik developed this model. He called it 'magic cube'. He sold the rights of making these cubes to a company, Ideal Toy Corporation. They made a mathematical toy using this and introduced it in the market.
Each face of the cube was painted in separate colours. Generally white, red, blue, green, yellow and orange colours are seen. Also each face was divided into nine small squares. Each face can be rotated horizontally as well as vertically. While rotating, the colours on the faces get mixed up. The play involves bringing each face into its original colour from the assorted form. The cube was renamed as 'Rubik's cube' in 1980 and was marketed. It became very popular throughout the world very soon.
Different methods are applied to solve the problem involved, and algorithms have been developed. Singmaster developed an algorithm which is now known as 'Singmaster Algorithm'. Those who try to solve the problem involved in the cube are actually trying to understand the steps in an algorithm and thereby understanding the programme. The time taken and the number of rotations made are the criteria to decide the intelligence or capability of the player. A 1981 Guinness Book record shows the time as 38 seconds and rotations as 40. it is understood that this record has been broken later by different people.
This instrument Rubik's cube is, no doubt, an interesting and intelligent toy. Not only children but others also will love it. It will be a time passing play for elderly people too. It is widely seen in Kerala also.