Chess Pieces


Our current prototype design for the chess pieces has a wooden triangle base, 1" ball bearings, two wheels, and two motors. This was chosen to optimize efficiency, while lowering cost, since we have to build 32 chess pieces. The chess pieces themselves are 9.75" x 7.75" x .5", designed for maneuverability on the chess board, so that they can move between other chess pieces and we don’t have to worry about moving other pieces out of the way. We are also using TETRIX Motors and Neverest Motors.

CAD Model of Chess Piece V1

Other designs have included an X-drive, 4-wheel drive, or 3-wheel triangle bot, however they were scrapped due to the cost and more complex systems they would have included.


The chess pieces are made from .5" birch plywood and manufactured using the laser cutting process. The hole markers are also included in the laser cutting process so that we don’t have to remeasure where to drill the holes after every cut and to keep everything uniform.

We will also start manufacturing the motor mounts ourselves to cut down on cost, using the manual mill and CNC machine.

Laser Cut Lines CAD Model of Motor Mount

Chess Board


Each square for the board is 1.5’ x 1.5’ to accomodate for the chess pieces moving around and between each other. It is then painted black and white accordingly.

We also considered foam tiles (which would be too expensive) and tape (which is difficult to move).


The board is made from 5mm triply and manufactured using the vertical bandsaw. The triply is cut into pieces of 3’ x 1.5’ which accomodates 2 squares on the board. Paint and paintbrushes are available in our workspace to paint the board black and white.

When manufacturing, the board is cut to exactly 3’ and then cut in half, so each piece is a little bit smaller that 1.5’ due to the saw size.

Last modified August 14, 2022: added a lot of final revisions (58931f1)