chess . Automated 1.0 [Project Update]

Greetings MRL'ians

This post is an update to the robotic chess project mentioned here:

So the project update has been long due and this project was stopped for a while beacuse we had blown up both the motors and a Arduino mega due to faulty 24V SMPS (Power Supply)sad, but all peciese finally fell into place and finally we were back on track. laugh

This time we modified the circuits and the new hybrid stepper motors required only 12V to run, hence the total supply goin in the board was only 12V.

We were also facing issues with the detection array (which uses 64 reed switces) as it was not accurate enuff (the reed switches were not so reliable), so we designed a new PCB with contact switches (image below) but this was also prone to lot of noise and we would get random values once a while which was not accurate enuff, this again brought things to a hault for some time.

After lot of testing and trial we decided to switch to memberane keypad technology. We designed and got manufactured a 2mm thin keypad. This solved our problem and now we were getting 100% accuracy for detecting the moves.coolyes

We now put our board together and started test runs.

The following is the cycle that game play follows:

User (White Side) Inputs Move > Move gets detected and is sent to MRL via serial by arduino > MRL sends input data into chess service and receives the Computer counter Move (Black Side) > The arduino receives the counter play and the stepper motors move the coin on the board with the help of electromagnet.

This cycle continues.

The Stands for the motors and the electromagnet are 3D printed and the Sides and Base is of acrylic. Initially the Top surface was also made up of Acrylic but we switched to hard glass as acrylic would flex. We use bump switches for re-setting origin at each startup.

All being said, here are a few Images Of the Board during development.

(The Above Image is with Acrylic Top surface and Tin Plated detection board - it wasnt accurate and strong)

This Board is along side a Chess Board for the vissually impaired (More on that in the next blog post of v2.0)

The board changes color while performing different actions (ie: different color while waiting for input and different color for moving a peice)


The Wring has always been a task, we had to be too careful after the mega blew up! cheeky

The Software: MRL! and Arduino IDE

Below are videos during testing (Sorry for them being too short, I dont have video of longer gameplay but will upload them soon) 



Below Video shows a problem sometimes faced due to light coins and strong magnetism. 




This is the final 1.0 board with memberane keypad and hybrid stepper motors.


This project was displayed at few exhibitions at various colleges here and received lot of encouragement so we decided that we would be making a v2.0 board which would improve the following:

Slow Movement: Since we are using a drive chain and threaded rods for moving an axis, the movement is very slow and it takes lot of time to get around from one place to other.

Attraction: Nearby coins get attracted when coins a being moved from one place to other, this is due to strong magnetism and light plastic coins.

The v2.0 board will mainly have these improvements along with smart features like voice feed back and invalid move feedback during gameplay, etc. (I'll Make a new blog post of that soon.)

I would appreciate if you all could give any suggestions or feedback on this project.

Lastly, I cannot end this post without thanking Grog and Alessandruino.

You guys have helped me a lot with the software and this project would have been very difficult without MRL. I really appreciate it yes, Thankssmiley

Ciao! smiley