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A Voice-Controlled Chess Machine

Hacker ‘diyguypt’ enjoys chess, and has even competed in high-level competitions in this, his sport of choice. For those that don’t have the ability to move pieces in a conventional method, diyguypt came up with a chess board that uses the Arduino Voice Control Android app as the interface method.

His device piggybacks off of this incredible bit of computing power available via Android phones, to translate voice into text, which in this case is a series of letters and numbers like “E3, E5,” signifying which piece on a board you’d like to move, and where to move it. This information is passed to the board itself and the controlling Arduino Mega via an HC-05 module. The Mega actuates two stepper motors through L298N driver boards in a sort of CNC gantry setup, which pull the pieces along using a homemade electromagnet.

Code and a more detailed explanation are available via diyguypt’s write-up. As of now, it appears that the system doesn’t actually play against an opponent or enforce rules, but allows the user to manipulate pieces underneath as needed. Given the freedom of movement built-in, it could seem it could be utilized with many other board games played on an 8×8 grid and using pieces with a ferromagnetic bottom. You can see it in action in the video below, or the internals are on display in the second clip.

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Author: Jeremy S. Cook

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