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Robot Inspiration Series #17: Board Game Robots

This week's inspiration is to build a robot that can play against you in a physical game, such as connect four, checkers, etc. The challenges with such robots can include not only the programming challenge of giving the robot AI (Artificial Intelligence) so that it can play skillfully, but also the building challenge of enabling the robot to maipulate game pieces. Of course, both of these challenges can be greatly reduced if you want. For example, instead of making the robot play "smart", you may be able to program the robot to simply move randomly; it will most likely be easier to beat, but at least it could still play. To get the minimum building challenge, the robot could have the user input the game status, and then tell you where to play for itself.

There are several great examples of game-playing robots. Bryan Bonahoom made a Tic-Tac-Toe playing robot that can "read" the board and make moves all by itself. You can see his robot on the MINDSTORMS website, here. Steve Hassenplug made a robot that plays Connect-4, which you can see on his website, here.

-Jonathan

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