James Stanley blogs on the design of automatic chess boards:
Lichess has recently released a Boards API, allowing anybody to interface a physical chess board with lichess in order to play online games using an automatic board. I previously thought about implementing my Strange Chess Clock using an automatic board, but never got round to it. With lichess now supporting online play with an automatic board, it’s hard to justify not making one!
James writes that there are only 2 things an automatic chess board really needs to do. It needs to be able to move the pieces on the board, and it needs to be able to detect where the player has moved the pieces on the board. You can view it as an input/output device: take input in the form of the player’s moves, and provide output in the form of the opponent’s moves.
Complications can arise in certain designs, because in addition to basic piece moves, you need to be able to input and output:
knight moves: knights are able to jump over other pieces, you need to account for this
captures: a piece gets removed from the board and the player’s piece takes its place (in particular, if you only measure square occupancy, you might not know which piece was captured)
castling: the rook needs to jump over/around the king
pawn promotion: as input, you need to detect which type of piece the player promotes to; as output, you need to grab a captured piece and place it on the promotion square
See the approaches that have been done and how one can look to automate designs in the post here.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.