Mags: The Chess Playing Robot

An MIT Maker Story

Fancy a game of chess? In this video, rising second-year students Keiji Imai, Claudius Tewari, and Eric Zhou describe Mags, the chess-playing robot that they designed and built along with teammate Gloria Zhu, using MIT’s Project Manus makerspaces and resources. Mags features a hidden electromagnet underneath its board that enables movement of chess pieces and a touchscreen that displays the chess board’s configuration.

By Conor McArdle

Aug 23, 2023

Meet “Mags:” The (Nearly) Unbeatable Chess-Playing Robot

A team of MIT students — Keiji Imai, Claudius Tewari, Eric Zhou, and Gloria Zhu — created “Mags,” a chess-playing robot.

Mags competes with humans by autonomously moving its pieces across the board, thanks to reed switches and an opensource chess engine called Stockfish.

The almost unbeatable robot was showed off at the MIT xFair. It’s a concentrate of mechanical and electrical engineering, code and making skills!

The whole process was supported by Project Manus, and funded by ProjX, the Office of Experiential Learning and MIT MAD through their IAP minigrants.

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