Checkers-Playing Robotic Arm


Dum-E is a checkers playing robotic arm. It reads the game state from images of the checkers board, looking for its opponent's move. Once its opponent has completed their move, the robot decides on its next move and takes the necessary steps to complete the move. This may require moving multiple pieces in checkers. Once the robot arm has completed its move, it returns to its home position and awaits for its opponent's next move.


The robotic arm was designed to be able to reach every position on the checkers board by manipulating inverse kinematics equations. The robotic arm was also designed to be easily assembled with laser-cut acrylic. Stock shafts, bearings, and brackets were purchased as well.


The electronics are controlled using an Arduino Mega 2560. Three stepper motors drive the main linkages and a servo motor toggles the end effector. A fixed webcam was used to read the game state.


The software reads the data from sensors and known geometries of the mechanical plant to create models of the arm and interpreted game state. Using simulation, the software can determine the best move and send commands to the electronic actuators to change the game state.

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