Intel’s Gambit has its own Kinect Moves

Intel's Gambit plays chess against humans using 3D context aware data from a 3D sensor, similar to the Xbox 360 Kinect, as it sees players moves and uses its robotic arm to take out or play pieces. University of Washington's Cynthia Matuszek looks on, awaiting the occassional driver crash of the still-in-progress player. Steve Makris Photo

Say hello to my new friend Gambit, a chess-playing robot whom
I met last week  in Seattle.

Developed by Intel Labs Seattle researchers and students
from the University of Washington, it interacts with human chess

players by watching your every move, then tells you what your move was, reaches out with its mechanical arm and either gently picks your piece off the board setting aside and/or makes its move.

Gambit can adapt to any size board, using an
off-the-shelf computer chess game player in addition to a lot of programming for its human-like moves and smarts.

On the rare occasion Gambit accidentally
drops a piece, he simply asks for your help, before continuing the game.

The 3D sensor that picks up your every move and so
accurately lifts chess pieces off the board, is the same kind used in today’s Xbox 360 Kinect, manufactured and licensed by Israeli-based

Only in this case, Gambit is smarter and very human-like,
with the arm designed by Seattle-based robot designer Roberto Aimi of Alium
Labs.  For more information on Intel’s context-aware research, go to:

Check out Gambit in action at:


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