The inspiration for this is from the book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone” where Harry, Ron, and Hermoine play a chess game where the pieces move automatically by just telling the required movement out aloud.

What it does

Wizards Chess is an automated remote set of chess boards. The idea is to facilitate two players who are far from each other to play chess as they would have in person.

How we built it

Both the boards have an XY Table and stepper motor for each axis. On getting the command the pieces are moved on the player's board and then mimicked on the opponent’s board till the game goes on.

Challenges we ran into

There were several challenges while prototyping this project.

  1. Converting an idea into a tangible list of components. While it was a nice idea, inspired by being a Potter Head, it took us some time to wrap our head around the mechanical requirements for the project. We needed an XY table for the basic frame under a chessboard for the automated movement. It took a couple of iterations and hunting around to finally find the XY table that we needed.
  2. Designing the power architecture.
  3. With no prior experience with Altium, it was a challenge to learn it and use it to design our custom PCB.
  4. Prototyping the motor driver: We had a setback while prototyping the stepper motor driver. It was a fragile IC and we ended up frying it.
  5. Integrating the Port Expander: We had to use Port Expanders to connect the motor driver to the MCU. We found it challenging to integrate it with the MCU.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Designing our own custom PCB & Designing a CLI-IoT based chessboard

What we learned

  1. How to finalize the required mechanical components required for implementing an idea.
  2. One of the main takeaways was the importance of planning.
  3. Learning Altium to draw schematics and designing PCB efficiently. One major learning was to be extra careful and thorough while selecting components in the initial stage itself. This makes life a lot easier and prevents the need for rework in the future.
  4. The importance of having spares: While ordering the dev boards, we did not consider the fact that components might fail. Our stepper motor driver is a fragile dev board, prone to frying and it would have been better to have a spare. This is a major takeaway of learning how to balance the project cost and have the requisite spares while prototyping to save valuable time.

What's next for IoT'aHS

Addressing the driver issues and get the prototype running. Adding sensors for each block for piece recognition.

Built With

  • altium
  • atmel
  • c
  • nodered
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