This is Yousif Nimats' graduation project at Kuwait University-College of Engineering & Petroleum. Its a stand-alone robotic arm that can play chess. The system is based on the P8X32A Propeller micro. This 160 MIPS chip was chosen because of its speed - It has to run all the algorithms like checking if a player did an illegal move and decide what is the best move to play.
To "detect" the pieces on the board, each chess square is equipped with a reed sensor and each piece with a magnet. Four 16-bit serial multiplexers are used to read each of the squares.
Yousif got a robotic arm with closed-loop servos to ensure precise movement and positioning. Four degrees of freedom allow the arm to reach all 64 positions, and a specific software is used to calculate and move the servos.