Andrei Erdei had the idea to “simulate as many board games as possible using a simple electronic assembly.” What he came up with is a 16×16 RGB LED surface that could theoretically play a wide range of games, but for now he’s settled on chess. Impressively, he was able to squeeze an entire chess simulation routine onto an Arduino Pro Mini board and its ATmega328P microcontroller, along with the compact FAB_LED library to drive the lighting.
The device is made out of a wooden photo frame with a 166x166mm interior, featuring a plastic grid used to separate out the LEDs. Inside, four 8×8 matrices combine to form the 16×16 playfield, while TTP223 capacitive touch sensor modules are implemented for control.
As shown in the gameplay demo above, the human player moves a blinking cursor to select the piece to be moved, then the position that the piece should move to. The computer ‘player’ will then make a move in a differently-colored pattern, and physical pieces can be moved with the LED gameplay. Using physical pieces here is actually optional, as the four LEDs per chess square are divided in different ways depending on the piece in question, though humans will likely find 3D representations more interesting and recognizable.