[legolor] brings us a great, cheap rotary axis to add to your small 3 axis CNC mills. How are you going to generate G-Code for this 4th axis? That’s the great part, and the hack, that [legolor] really just swapped the Y axis for the rotation. To finish the workflow and keep things
cheap accessible to all there’s a great trick to “unwrap” your 3D model so your CAM software of choice thinks it’s still using a linear Y axis and keeps your existing workflow largely intact. While this requires an extra step in Blender to do the unwrapping, we love the way this hack changes as little of the rest of your process as possible. The Blender script might be useful for many other purposes too.
The results speak for themselves too! We thought the 3D printed parts were suspect in a CNC setup, but for the small scale of game pieces and milling wood, the setup is stable enough to produce a surprisingly accurate and detailed finish. If you want to try the same approach with something larger or a tougher material, [legolor] has a suggestion of a tailstock setup that’s still under $100 USD. Continue reading “This $12 CNC Rotary Axis Will Make Your Head Spin” →
Some things remain classics, even after centuries, and chess and watches have certainly stood the test of time. [W&M Levsha] decided to combine them both in this “Chess Club” watch containing a miniature chess game frozen in time.
[W&M Levsha] used an off-the-shelf wristwatch for the mechanism and case, but rearranged the parts and built a custom watchface that’s much nicer than the original. The new watchface was cut and etched on a fiber laser after disassembly of the original watch.
The real magic happens when [W&M Levsha] turns those teeny little chess pieces on the lathe. The knight was a two piece affair with the horse head being laser cut out of brass sheet and then soldered onto a turned base. As you can see from the video embedded below, all of the chess pieces inside the watch could fit on the maker’s fingernail! It’s probably a good thing that this tiny set isn’t playable since trying to play on a board that size would be an exercise in patience.
We’ve seen machined chess sets here before at a larger scale, but if you’re more into 3D printing, how about teaching your printer to play?
Continue reading “A Little Chess With Your Timepiece” →
A few months ago, a scandal erupted in the chess world which led to some pretty wild speculation around a specific chess player. We won’t go into any of the details except to say that there is virtually no physical evidence of any method this player allegedly used to cheat in a specific in-person chess match. But [Teddy Warner] and partner [Jack Hollingsworth] were interested in at least providing a proof-of-concept for how this cheating could have been done, though, and came up with this device which signals a chess player through a shoe.
The compact device is small enough to fit in the sole of one of the player’s shoes, and is powered by an ATtiny412 microcontroller paired with a HC-06 Bluetooth module. The electronics are fitted into a 3D printed case along with a small battery which can then be placed into the sole of a shoe, allowing the wearer to feel the vibrations from a small offset-weight motor. With a second person behind a laptop and armed with a chess engine, the opponent’s moves can be fed into the computer and the appropriate response telegraphed through the shoe to the player.
While [Teddy] and [Jack] considers the prototype a success in demonstrating the ease at which a device like this could be used, and have made everything related to this build open source, this iteration did have a number of issues including that the motor buzzing was noticeable during play, and that his chess engine made some bizarre choices in the end game. It also requires the complicity of a second person, which is something this other chess cheating machine does away with. They also note that it’s unlikely that any chess players at the highest levels use devices like these, and that other chess experts have found no evidence of any wrongdoing in this specific scandal.
Continue reading “Electronic Shoe Explores Alleged Chess Misbehavior” →
With all the salacious stories about a cheating scandal rocking the world of championship-level chess, you’d think that we’d have delved into the story at least a bit here on Hackaday, especially given the story’s technical angle. But we haven’t, and it’s not because we’re squeamish about the details of the alleged cheat; rather, it’s because it’s just too easy to pun your way through a story like this. The lowest-hanging fruit isn’t always the sweetest.
But, we’ll give it a go, and play this one completely straight as we look at an experiment to determine if it’s even possible to cheat in the specific way that has been alleged. For the uninitiated, 19-year-old grandmaster [Hans Niemann] stands accused of cheating, possible through the use of a remote-controlled sex toy secreted in his rectum. The idea would be for an accomplice to use the toy, which contains a vibrating motor that’s controlled by an app either via Bluetooth or WiFi, to send suggested moves to [Niemann] based on a chess-playing AI’s analysis of the game.
Whether [Niemann] cheated or not is not the concern here, but rather [Captain Steel]’s experiment is just a first-pass look at whether it would be possible to cheat using the proposed technology — and most importantly, not get caught. He tried to replicate the scanning regime [Niemann] is now subject to at tournaments based on the allegations to see if a stand-in for the sex toy — a haptic motor attached to an ESP32 — would be detectable through various thicknesses of flesh. Rather than showing the same dedication to craft that [Niemann] is alleged to have shown, [Captain Steel] used slices of baloney as a stand-in for human flesh. He then tried scanning for RF emissions from the device through increasing layers of luncheon meat. We won’t spoil the results, other than to say that baloney turns out to actually be good for something.
We’ve covered another less-invasive method of cheating before, which given the results above is probably more likely to be discovered.
Continue reading “Seeing If Cheating At Chess The Hard Way Is Even Possible” →
[James Stanley] enjoys chess, isn’t terribly good at it, and has some dubious scruples. At least, that’s the setup for building Sockfish, a shoe-to-Pi interface to let you cheat at chess. We’re pretty sure only the first point is true, but the build is impressive all the same. It’s a pair of 3D printed shoe inserts, with two pressure-sensitive inputs on each insert, coupled with a vibration motor in each. Tap out your opponent’s moves during the game, and the Stockfish software will buzz instructions back to you. Just follow the instructions, and you too can be a chess master.
In practice things went a bit awry, as poking in encoded move data with one’s feet isn’t the easiest task, and discerning the subtle tickles on the toes is error-prone at best. [James] arranged a match against an unsuspecting friend (in the name of science), and managed to fat-finger (fat-toe?) the inputs on both games, leading to Sockfish instructing him to make illegal moves.
This seemed like too much cheating, even for [James], so he played the rest of each game on his own abilities, winning one of the two. Once the deed was done, our anti-hero gladly doffed his shoes to show off his gadgetry. After some debate, they concluded the device might “bring the game into disrepute” if used for greater evil. Naturally [James] is already working on an improved version.
Thanks to [Abe Tusk] for the tip!
If you’ve ever played chess or even checkers, you’ve probably thought about making a board that lets a computer play you without having to enter your moves and look at the board on a screen. [Greg06] not only thought about it, but he built it.
The board looks great and uses foamboard which makes it easy to reproduce. Each piece has a small magnet within and an electromagnet on an XY motion system can selectively pick up and move pieces. In addition, a reed switch under each square can tell if a square is occupied or not.
Continue reading “Automated Chess Board Plays You” →
The Internet teaches us that we can accept stand-ins for the real world. We have an avatar that looks like us. We have virtual mailboxes to read messages out of make-believe envelopes. If you want to play chess, you can play with anyone in the world, but on a virtual board. Or, you can use [karayaman’s] software to play virtual games on real boards.
The Python program uses a webcam. You point it at an empty board and calibrate. After that, the program will track your moves on the real board in the online world. You can see a video of a test game below.
Continue reading “Internet Chess On A Real Chessboard” →