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Play GNU Chess On Your Scanner 157

Posted by timothy
from the time-on-hands dept.
leighklotz writes "Debian developer and Internet Mail Archive founder Jeff Breidenbach of PARC has made GlyphChess, a chess-playing copier using Python, GNU Chess and DataGlyphs attached to the bottom of the pieces. DataGlyphs are cool 2D barcodes made out of / and \ marks for ones and zeros that use the coding from CDs for error coding. If you don't happen to have a Xerox machine at home, it also works with SANE..."
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Play GNU Chess On Your Scanner

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  • Re:Award winning... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HornyBastard77 (667965) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @05:11PM (#6061090)
    Maybe not.

    From the article:

    Why

    Like many fun hacks, GlyphChess has paid off in unexpected ways. First, testing DataGlyph software and algorithm changes is a lot more engaging. It is hard to get excited about 99.98% vs. 99.97% decode rates in testsuite #73, but if a rook disappears, well that is simply unacceptable! We've found GlyphChess an excellent diagnostic and quality assurance motivator that inspires rapid bug hunting and closure. Second, it turns out some of the software technology refined for GlyphChess is applicable to more boring, but commercially important domains. Finally, GlyphChess is a compelling demonstration vehicle for DataGlyph Toolkit technical capabilities, including our DataGlyph location routines, our ability to decode arbitrarily rotated DataGlyphs, and our very high tolerance of variation in scan resolutions and positioning. GlyphChess works and it works well.

    We also gained valuable experience about DataGlyph application building.

  • by taradfong (311185) * on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @05:49PM (#6061415) Homepage Journal
    ...would be if a controllable electromagnet was attached to the scan head. Then, the scanner could actually move the pieces around too. You'd have to do some 'move blocking pieces into a holding area temporarily' stuff, but that would make the project even more fun, no?
  • by Wesley Everest (446824) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @05:57PM (#6061459)
    Now what I've been envisioning is a setup where you aim a webcam down at a Go board, and it automagically figures out the full board position as you go. After the game is done, you have a record of the game in the digital SGF format so you can step through and analyze the game.

    Some more details -- the software would constantly grab images of the board and process them in realtime. It should be able to use the redundancy to correct for errors and also to know when a move is done (since you'll move your hand away from the board for at least a dozen frames or so, even if you play fast). The board is a nice regular rectangle, and pieces are black and white circles -- even at an odd angle, it should be easy to determine the full board position.

    I feel confident I could do it, but it would take me tens of hours of coding/testing, and I don't have the time, but I bet someone would love to do this for a senior project and opensource the code... please... :)

  • Re:Award winning... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Idarubicin (579475) <(allsquiet) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @05:59PM (#6061482) Journal
    A Russian company (Zvezda) developed helicopter ejection seats. They have been installed on Ka-50 helicopters. Here's a link [zvezda-npp.ru].

    On the same page you'll note that they also designed and tested an ejection system for Buran (Soviet Space Shuttle) cosmonauts.

  • Re:Award winning... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by graveyhead (210996) <fletch&fletchtronics,net> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:02PM (#6062013)
    what, like this [berkeley.edu]?

    I had that idea a couple years ago too, except you forgot: network chess becomes amazingly fun when your friend is in your house as a ghost! They should build this & bundle with Chessmaster ?000 with network capability, so friends without the board can play on their PC!
  • by mr_luc (413048) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:40PM (#6062417)
    You have all these (admittedly talented) programmers spending all this time on worthless projects

    In a way, of course, he's right. By it's very nature, the Linux community is somewhat fractuous, and not nearly as efficient as it could be. Old news, even if the problem isn't solved. (what, everyone doesn't use KDE? oh)

    But it doesn't apply here.

    This is a case of brilliantly applied science, and if you don't think that it is useful, consider a few of the implications. This is EXACTLY the type of technology that is going to be highly useful in the coming years, because they are coming up with ways to bridge the visual gap, and in developing the best ways to represent data visually in a form that a computer can read, and that will handle error-correction gracefully.

    That is the kind of applied research that needs to be done before all of the cool, non-'worthless' stuff can happen. Before you get your car that can navigate on its own, you need a Xerox chess set -- that's how this stuff works.
  • by Mafiew (620133) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @04:48AM (#6065908)
    if / meant 1 and \ meant zero then a glyph that is /\ would be 10 right? So what if the glyph was upside down so that it looked like \/, 01? It looks like the chess scanner program tries to match the pattern with a reference so even if it is upside down it should work, but how is this "glyph" system used to encode information if the slash order become backwards when turned upside down?
  • by POPE Mad Mitch (73632) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @09:10AM (#6066760) Homepage
    There is an excellent list [adams1.com] of 2 dimensional bar codes of this style, some of which are public domain.

    I have always wanted to work on an opensource project to put business card info in a standardised format into a 2d barcode you can print on the back of your business cards. Someone can then just slap the card in a scanner and have correct information put straight into their address book.

    Yet another item on the ever increasing 'cool ideas if i ever get some spare time' stack.
  • by alispguru (72689) <bane@NoSPam.gst.com> on Thursday May 29, 2003 @04:11PM (#6070319) Journal
    By quite a bit, actually. Look here [parc.com] down around 1989.

    Also, on the same history page, in the Mid 80's section, you'll see an entry for an expert system named Pride developed at PARC. Pride helped Xerox design their first line of desktop copiers, and is quite famous within the company.

    I worked for (long lamented) Xerox AI systems from 1986-88, and consulted for them off and on through 1994, which is how I know about this.

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