Project tutorial
Phantom Automatic Chessboard

Phantom Automatic Chessboard © CC BY-NC-ND

Developing an automatic chessboard. Our main goal is to recover the experience and unmatched feeling of playing OTB.

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Components and supplies

HC4067
16-bit Multiplexer
×5
74HC4051
8-bit Multiplexer
×60
KTH1601
HALL Sensor
×500
FFC Conector
Pitch1.27 9 Pines down side
×20
FFC Conector
Pitch1.27 9 Pines up side
×20
SS39E
Analog HALL Sensor
×2
Electromagnet
×1
Screenshot 2019 06 14 15 39 45 h3it1wigl4
Arduino Nano 33 IoT
×1
ESP32
×2
MP2307
Buck Converter
×2
2K
Resistor
×2
Magnets
×32
TMC2209
Stepper Driver
×2
12V Power Adapter
/USD-C PD
×1
SlipRing
12 Chanels
×2

Necessary tools and machines

Pocket NC
09507 01
Soldering iron (generic)
Avid CNC

Apps and online services

About this project

Hi there! I believe naming “automatic chessboard” is not so appealing so I decided to name it: Phantom. Even less appealing is to keep Phantom just to myself, so I decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign.

During the last months, I have been sharing the development process and improvements made to the board week by week and got to the conclusion to close the first version to decide the following steps to improve it (Check out the whole process it the Hackaday project).

The next step is to be sure all systems are working perfectly fine together before starting important changes. The hardware of the first prototype is conformed by the Scara mechanism, hall effect sensors array, mecha-magnet and 3 microcontrollers running all the features.

I’ll share with you all the files up to this version so you can build your own Phantom Chess, in the files section you will find everything you need: the assembly and 3D model files for each system

Tavo developed a three-stage software that controls all the features:

  • The main program is embedded into an ESP32 microcontroller. This software controls the motors and runs the calibration system to spatially the mecha-magnet.
  • The second program read each hall-effect sensor to detect the pieces positions. I’m leaving you the code that controls the mecha-magnet here. Through an encoder, it detects the up and down positions and uses this data to control the motors that elevate the magnet with PID control. All this software is embedded into an Arduino Nano
  • The third program focuses on connectivity. Through an Arduino Nano 33 IoT we communicate with the Lichess server to send commands as start game, select adversary, game info and piece movements.
  • Each time you move a piece on the physical board, the Nano 33 IoT sends this information to the Lichess server to be reflected in the digital game; it works the same way each time the opponent makes a move on the Lichess game, the move is sent to the board through the same connection.
  • The three microcontroller system is interconnected through an i2c protocol. The ESP32 is the master that controls the Arduino Nano and the Nano 33 IoT.

Files, schematics and further instructions are in our Github repository. Take a look at them and let me know your comments for improvements or questions to start building your own e-board! https://github.com/carlosPendass/CAD-Mechanics

And my YouTube channel in which I upload progress and test videos: https://bit.ly/3w32wcf

Now I’m also on instagram! https://www.instagram.com/phantom_chess/

Code

Custom parts and enclosures

SCARA-Mechanism-assy
scara-mechanism-assy_QltWc4c2lm.zip
CASE-Assy
case-assy_1z1EaXLc2y.zip
SCARA-Mechanism-Assy-BOM
CASE-Assy-BOM
MagnetElevator.ino
magnetelevator_(1)_etpmuZESnR.ino

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