…Observe the video below. That’s a huge, 156-square-foot chess board and pieces made entirely out of Lego Mindstorm parts–more than 100,000 of them. It’s called Monster Chess, and it’s awesome.
The battery-operated, Bluetooth-controlled pieces use downward-facing sensors to read grids built into the individual squares on the board. They then communicate with the controlling computer to keep track of their location in relation to other pieces. The computer tells each piece which direction to go, and how far, on its turn.
And the knights are animated. Watch the video and tell me that’s not cool.
It took a year for four people on Team Hassenplug, led by Steve Hassenplug, to put Monster Chess together at a cost of around $30,000. It can be played as human vs. computer, computer vs. computer, or human vs. human via the controlling computer. It uses international standardized rules from an enhanced version of the ChessBot software package. And no, sadly, you can’t buy one.
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– GM Susan Polgar