IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer conquered the chess world in 1997 when it defeated world champion Garry Kasparov. Too bad Deep Blue didn’t have robotic arms that moved the chess pieces around the board.
At CES 2017, Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is showcasing its chess-playing companion robot that will challenge attendees at Tech East, Westgate in booth 2015. It’s probably not as smart as Deep Blue, but the robot does have two UR5 robotic arms to pick up chess pieces and move them around.
ITRI says its Intelligent Vision System enables robots to interpret the visual world, act on visual information, and learn from experience. The robot also uses deep learning to get smarter over time. So during the chess demonstration, the robot will be able to evaluate the random moves of its human opponent and move its chess pieces according to its current abilities and, hopefully, put you in checkmate.
ITRI says this companion robot will also show off its ability to pour coffee. Doesn’t seem too exciting, but the robot will have to fill coffee cups to different levels while the cups are put in random locations.
Robots that play chess aren’t new, of course, but this will be a fun side event for chess players at CES. But after looking back at Versaball’s beer pong robot from CES 2015, I’d bet this chess-playing robot will be tough to beat.