"Embla"-based chess computer

Embla based chess computer

I've created a chess board computer based on my chess program called Embla.

It consists of:

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • TFT with touch screen
  • Arduino Nano
    This microcontroller accepts simple commands via its serial interface. E.g. "move e2e4" will make it blink the LEDs at the E2 and the E4 fields. "animate" will make it do an animation (when the board is in idle mode).
  • 3x Adafruit 24-Channel 12-bit PWM LED Driver - TLC5947
  • 64 LEDs (I ordered red LEDs but got white ones)
  • 1 red LED for power status
  • Embla chess program (available for free for Linux, Android, MacOS X and Windows); strength is around 1600 elo
  • a custom python-script for the user-interface, using PyGame. The scripts speaks the UCI protocol so any other chess program that speaks this protocol will work. I also tried GNU chess for example.
  • Raspbian
  • the wood was chopped using a laser cutter


  • a video of it

  • here it came up with a move and waits for the user to move the pieces on the board

  • startup screen, no pieces on board

  • move enter screen

  • move enter screen (2), here it alternates the led between E2 and E4

  • inside

This device was build at RevSpace - a hackerspace in The Hague in The Netherlands.