USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

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ozziejoe
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USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by ozziejoe » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:42 pm

DGT boards are just too expensive. Why can't something like this
replace the dgt board.


http://usb.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00271


It looks like this USB interface comes with its own crappy chess software. It all costs only about 45 us. Why can't they design just the board part of it to interact with fritz?

anybody familiar with this product, or understand why there is not an affordable version of the dgt board.

Here is a brief news article on it

http://blog.scifi.com/tech/archives/200 ... makes.html

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sje
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Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by sje » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:48 am

The product you reference does not have the piece recognition feature of the DGT board. It is not even auto sensory; a square must be pressed for the USB input to work. It does qualify as the first roll-up electronic chessboard, however.

ozziejoe
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Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by ozziejoe » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:22 am

I think pressing the square is ok. I mean, for autsensory dgt board, you pay another 950 dollars.

Is there anything like this for fritz9 or chessassistant? Surely people would pay 50 dollars to play chess in three dimensions against the computer, or in longer online games

J

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sje
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Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by sje » Tue May 01, 2007 1:11 am

The DGT board can be had for US$590 from our board's sponsor:

http://www.chessusa.com/Merchant2/merch ... ct_Count=2

But the above may be an older model and not the USB version (or the purportedly available Bluetooth version).

Terry McCracken

Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by Terry McCracken » Thu May 03, 2007 7:39 am

sje wrote:The DGT board can be had for US$590 from our board's sponsor:

http://www.chessusa.com/Merchant2/merch ... ct_Count=2

But the above may be an older model and not the USB version (or the purportedly available Bluetooth version).
590 dollars seems very steep, when the DGT, the older ver. went for as low as 370 and 449 USD :shock:

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hgm
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Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by hgm » Thu May 03, 2007 12:00 pm

I would expect it to be possible with current hardware technology to extract the position on an ordinary chess board by simply have a $10 webcam observe the board.

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sje
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Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by sje » Thu May 03, 2007 3:27 pm

I've looked into the prospect of using computer vision for piece recognition. There are several challenges:

1. Cheap webcams offer relatively poor resolution in the range of standard VGA (640 x 480) or even less.

2. Pieces tend to obscure other pieces, so a movable camera or more than one camera is needed.

3. It takes a significant amount of work to support visual recognition of pieces from sets of differing styles.

4. Lighting is important, as shadows and glare can impede correct recognition.

If it were easy to do this, then someone would have done it already.

Tord Romstad
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Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by Tord Romstad » Thu May 03, 2007 4:07 pm

sje wrote:The DGT board can be had for US$590 from our board's sponsor:

http://www.chessusa.com/Merchant2/merch ... ct_Count=2

But the above may be an older model and not the USB version (or the purportedly available Bluetooth version).
Give me a Bluetooth version with the ability to announce moves (for instance with a little LED on each square or a small LCD screen), and I'll buy it in an instant. I don't want to fight with a USB cable, nor listen to a corny computerized voice announcing the moves from across the room.

I see that it is possible to attach a DGT clock to the board. Does anyone know if it is possible to make the clock display the computer's moves?

Tord

Tord Romstad
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Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by Tord Romstad » Thu May 03, 2007 4:22 pm

Tord Romstad wrote:I see that it is possible to attach a DGT clock to the board. Does anyone know if it is possible to make the clock display the computer's moves?
It looks like it is possible, according to the information found here: http://www.dgtprojects.com/clock_dgtxl.htm

Now all I need is a DGT board with Bluetooth interface. :-)

Tord

Alessandro Scotti

Re: USB chess: why can't this technology replace dgt board

Post by Alessandro Scotti » Thu May 03, 2007 4:41 pm

sje wrote:I've looked into the prospect of using computer vision for piece recognition. There are several challenges:

1. Cheap webcams offer relatively poor resolution in the range of standard VGA (640 x 480) or even less.

2. Pieces tend to obscure other pieces, so a movable camera or more than one camera is needed.

3. It takes a significant amount of work to support visual recognition of pieces from sets of differing styles.

4. Lighting is important, as shadows and glare can impede correct recognition.

If it were easy to do this, then someone would have done it already.
I've actually done a bit of work on this, and possibly published a description of the idea somewhere.

In my approach, a normal webcam is used but it is backed up by a software that knows how a chess game works. The idea is to recognize not pieces, but merely the "from" and "to" squares for each move, which is much easier to do.
It would not be possible to tell the program to recognize a setup position, but since most games start from the standard position or from a position with a known FEN this particular problem doesn't seem too bad to me.

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