We've had some bad luck up to this point because there was some miscommunication that was out of our control and our parts were not ordered until last Friday instead of last Tuesday when we put our order in. However, today we got some parts in. We got the 20 small neodymium magnets , the 2 large magnets, the punch-board, and the tracks that the stepper motors will be mounted to. The small magnets are to be placed on the user's chess pieces so that they trigger the reed switches under each square space on the chess board. The large magnet is to be used as the magnet underneath the board to move the computer's pieces. The small magnets are shown here:
After some testing we determined that the magnets we ordered were way to powerful. In fact, the large magnets could attract the smaller magnets from almost a foot away. The picture below shows the power of these magnets; the magnets can attract each other through two pieces of wood:
However, all was not lost. We figured out that we could use two or three of the small magnets hooked together as the main magnet underneath, since this was weaker but still able to pull a metal washer across a material of thickness 0.5 inches.
Our main magnet underneath will now look like the configuration shown in the next picture (except we won't have the washer) mounted on a small wood block that will be raised and lowered by a servo motor, after reaching the correct X-Y location.
We also received the punch-board, which will be used to mount the 64 reed switches under the main chess board. We needed a 2 foot by 2 foot punch-board, but they don't make them that large. We therefore received several smaller pieces to piece together into one large board. The punch-board will make it much easier to wire all the reed sensors up. The sensors will then essentially act as a 64-key keypad. The punch-board is shown in the last picture for this post: