Sunday, May 1, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Almost finished

We were able to obtain excellent movement. However, we made our board a little small and it sags in the middle. Thus we can't get the full range of motion to play an entire chess game yet. We decided to mount metal poles to the sides to extend the range of support. Also, the poles ideally should keep it straight. The pictures of the new board setup are shown below. Unfortunately the board still sags in the middle. Today will consist of carefully setting up the board to try to get full use of the board. It is not easy because if the board is a little higher in one location, then the magnet can't attract the piece.


We were able to get accurate movement of the pieces with the XY positioner. Here is a really cool video. More videos to come...

The xy table is finished

We finished building the XY positoner table. It works very well; the stepper motors are extremely accurate and return exactly to the starting location. Here are some cool pictures of it.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Now that we finally have all the parts, we continued construction on the XY plotter system. This system will move the computer's chess pieces by positioning the magnet below the board. Once the magnet is in position, the magnet can be raised or lowered, thereby either attracting or disengaging the above chess piece. 

With no fans or air conditioner and 85 degree weather, Brian in his jeans made a tremendous effort to cut the wood.

To mount the motors we decided to have them embed into the beams of wood, as shown above. The height of the cut-out needed to be exact; too high and the gear would not reach the linear gear set, too low and the board would not be able to attach to the sliding draws. Glue was layered around the insert to adhere the motor in place.  

As well as mounting the motor, we also mounted the support beams that attach to the two sliding rails. Later the cross beam with an additional sliding rail and motor system will sit on top of these beams. We are hopeful that by Wednesday we will have finished construction.