Inspiration

Mr. Schattman, our passion for chess, and the need for a more economic electronic chess board for all people to enjoy.

What it does

The E-tabula has the ability to register the moves of the users and lights up the legal options when a piece is picked up. So for example, when a knight is picked up, the board's LEDs in the legal "L" shape formation would light up.

How we built it

The E-tabula consists of 70 photo-resistors capable of detecting minute changes in light inconsistencies. In parallel with the photo-resistors were 100 Neo-Pixel LEDs used to light up the chess board when turned on, and change color to highlight the legal moves. The general structure of the board was constructed with thin styrofoam walls. To top off the board we applied a high-quality plexiglass layer to enhance gameplay. The photo-resistors and LEDs were all sautered in parallel and connected to Arduino modules for instruction.

Challenges we ran into

The first problem we ran into was LED neo-pixel communication circuit discontinuity. This was due to weak soldering of LED terminals "sorry boys :(". Next, we ran into dysfunctional LEDs, which caused us to replace many "dud" LEDs. This was a major pain because it required the re-sautering of the circuit. Another issue that we ran into was the expansive, extremely sensitive range readings of the photoresistors. As a result, we had to alter our program to constrain these values and we used larger chess pieces in order to cancel out as much unwanted light as possible from hitting the photoresistors.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Completing an entire hardware project from start to finish, and having a working project for the judges to sample.

What we learned

Any hackathon project takes perseverance, a lot of snacks, and really smart friends :).

What's next for E-Tabula

Probably Zach Chapman's garage tbh :)

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