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DIY Robochess Robot From Iran

Robochess is the name that Ebrahim Jahandar, an 18 year-old student in Iran, gives to his robot that plays against you on a chessboard. The robot senses the positions of the pieces using magnetic sensors on the bottom of the board; it has a movable hook to pick up the pieces and move them around on the board.

Take a look at the Robochess video below.


(Iranian Robochess by Ebrahim Jahandar)

The robot can verify your moves as well as its own; once the opponent has made a legal move, it uses its algorithm to determine an appropriate move. The selected piece is then moved to the new cell on the board.

The hardware for the chess-playing robot cost just $100.

This Robot Has Small And Simple Hardware. Main Core Of Deciding And Controlling Is A 8 Bit Atmega128 Microcontroller. This Robot Have 2 Board, Control Board And Power Board. Control Board Consist Of Microcontroller, LCD, Connectors. And Power Board Consist Of Power Section, Motor Controls And Relays . 64 Sensors Placed At Bottom Of Chess Board And Connected Together By Matrices. This Sensors Connected To Control Board With A 16 Lines Flat Cable. Also 64 Rectifier Diodes Used For Protecting Matrix From Inverse Voltages. One 8 Pin Connector And Some 2 Pin Connectors Used For Connecting Other Sensors To Control Board. One 12 Mhz Crystal Used As Oscillator For Microcontroller. We Used A Schmitt Trigger 7414 For Converting Very Low Voltage Came From Sensors To TTL Levels.

In Moving Mechanism We Used Three Rails, One For X Axis And Two Of Them For Y Axis. In This Mechanism We Doesn't Use Sprockets Or Halters, We Used String Based Mechanism. A String Fixed At Two Sides, String Twisted Around Plastic Shift. According To Newton 2nd Law Every Action Has A Reaction So When Motor Is Running And Send Its Power To Gearbox And Plastic Shift, Pressure On String Has Reaction Which Is Moving Rails.

We Need Small And Simple Lifter With Good Response For Picking Up Pieces. This Lifter Uses A 12v DC Motor Connected To Tall Screw And Vertebrate. In This Case When Motor Is Running And Screw Is Spinning, Pressure On Vertebrate Cause To Lifter Going Up And Down.

This Robot was awarded 2nd place in the Young Kharazmi Festival, an innovation festival in the Middle East.

Although there have been a variety of clockwork automata before the turn of the century, Ambrose Bierce was still ahead of the curve in predicting a chess playing robot in his 1910 short story Moxon's Master.

Two or three times after moving a piece the stranger slightly inclined his head, and each time I observed that Moxon shifted his king. All at once the thought came to me that the man was dumb. And then that he was a machine—an automaton chessplayer! Then I remembered that Moxon had once spoken to me of having invented such a piece of mechanism, though I did not understand that it had actually been constructed. Was all his talk about the consciousness and intelligence of machines merely a prelude to eventual exhibition of this device—only a trick to intensify the effect of its mechanical action upon me in my ignorance of its secret?
(Read more about the automaton chessplayer)

Robots that actually play physical chess with you are a separate breed from the chess programs you can buy for next to nothing; see REEM-A Chess-Playing Robot for a humanoid example.

Read more about Robochess the chess-playing robot, and Ebrahim Jahandar via Robots.net.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/5/2009)

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