Standalone device to play Xiangqi

Xiangqi is nothing but Chinese version of chess. This project aims at playing the same on a standalone touchscreen LCD interfaced with a controller. In addition to playing, it also provides a feature to change the background of the game as per user requirement. When user presses on the screen, the signal will be sent to the MCU and some movements would be made. The entire algorithm of the game is implemented with the concept of states. The connection between MCU and touch screen needs a LCD driver and an ADC chip A predefined library for another LCD is modified based on the present LCD datasheet so as to avoid any complexity. SPI protocol is also implemented to communicate the touchpanel with MCU. The accuracy of the touch screen is good. The identification of coordinates (x,y) of the touched point is precise as it has been configured manually. A good project to learn various aspects of controller for someone who has just started with embedded system. Continue reading

Portable chess

The portable chess which is named as PIC Blitz is tiny, low-power, ultra-cost device that plays chess at a blazingly fast speed. It’s build upon a PIC16F series of controller, which just features a 3.5KB of flash memory and only 224bytes of RAM. The portable chess knows all the chess moves in almost all situations and a variable search depth which will depend upon the time availability. As mentioned, the microcontroller used is PIC 16F which is overclocked to use 20MHz of crystal and also uses five buttons with pull-ups connected to it. Next comes, the display which is 96×68 monochrome based LCD build upon a STE2007 controller  which was available as a spare part of old NOKIA 1207 series of mobile phones. The circuit can be built on a printed-circuit board which is approximately 50×50 mm square. Control is via five pushbuttons, four of which (‘up’, ‘down’, ‘left’ and ‘right’) are normally used to provide cursor movement and one (‘OK’) confirms an entry. A five-way tactile switch or a digital joystick with a fire button could be used instead. Continue reading

Real world voice controlled chess game

Playing chess is like a gym for your brain. But how does electronics hobbyists play chess? Well it appears they try to do this in more complicated way. Take a look at CarlsenBot – voice controlled chess game platform. Ben Yeh have built it as final project for his Georgia Tech ECE 4180 class. The project consists of three “smart” parts – an mbed controlled xyz platform that moves chess figures and computer where the actual game is running. Third part is also mbed controller which takes care of speech recognition. Recognition is done using EasyVR module which can be trained to recognize words. So the quality of recognition practically relies on this module. Things gets really messy when mechanics is involved. This is much same as building CNC that has to be aware of heads position and all other that comes with it. But finally prototype works like a charm and there as always is much to polish. Continue reading