Students develop chess set for the visually impaired

Charles Buxton once said, “In life, as in chess, forethought wins.” Somaiya College’s forethought with their automated chess design provides a clear winner for all parties involved. The automated chess table includes braille pieces, voice recaps of every move, and textural contrasts between white and black spaces. The combination of all these factors allows the game to be utilized by those who suffer from visual impairments.


“There are already board games available in the market that can be used by the visually-impaired, but our board game involves technology that allows one to play the game online as well as on a physical board. The board automatically plays the moves depending on the keys pressed,” explains Gaurang Shetty, Head of the College’s Innovation Center.

The web connectivity of the project enables individuals to play each other from across the globe as the game board provides the player with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) over the Internet, so one person can play over GUI sitting in any corner of the world, while the other plays on the physical chess board.

At the heart of the 64-key membrane keyboard lies an Atmel-powered Arduino that allows the board to communicate with a connected computer. The team behind automated chess will be demonstrating their board at Maker Faire Rome next month.

“While the project is ready, we are also trying to incorporate other features to this chess board for even better results,” Shetty concluded.


1 thought on “Students develop chess set for the visually impaired

  1. Virginia Davis

    This is an awesome chess set! I have always loved chess, and it is really cool to see the new and innovative ways that chess is being presented to the world. I especially like how the online connectivity allows the game to be played with both players anywhere in the world. Do the players move their own pieces? Or is it voice controlled?



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