Collin Murray's "Super Fun Checker Power"
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#1 Super Fun Checker Power!!

This particular checkerboard happens to be smaller than most.  It is this way in order to meet the size requirement specified by the instructor.  Each space is a 1” by 1” space.  Each “checker” is slightly smaller and circular.  The checkers were fashioned by yours truly to insure that their size, mass, and other properties were just what was needed.  The pieces are made out of steel.   They have to be done this way in order for the chosen end effector to be effective.  The end effector is a solenoid mounted on a metal “arm.”  When the solenoid is turned on, it produces a magnetic field and picks up the checkers.  As the mechanism moves the checker from space to space, the solenoid stays on.  When the checker is above or on the desired space, the solenoid turns off and in effect, drops the checker.  The extra space on the board, the actual board not the checker board, is left there for pieces that have been “jumped.”  These pieces are placed here when they leave play and can reenter play when another piece is “kinged.”  The solenoid is powerful enough to perform its duty with two of these pieces, and weak enough to be able to let go of a single one when needed.

History of Checkers

Checkers originated as a game known as “Draught” in Great Britain.  The first board was found in the ancient city of Ur.  This board dated back to roughly 3000 BC.  Draught was not an entirely original game either.  It was based off of the Egyptian game of Alquerque, which dates back to roughly 6000 BC.  Each of the games is played on a 5 x 5 board with the pieces set up in a non-systemetrical pattern.  The game eventually made its way to Europe when the Moors invaded Spain.  Around 1100 AD, somewhere in southern France, someone decided to play a game of Alquerque with a 12 x 12 board and used 12 pieces for each team.  This was the beginning of chess and checkers as we know them today.  The game was renamed “Dames.”  The rule of compulsory overtaking of enemy pieces did not come up until the early 1500’s.  This rule is not utilized today, but it’s an interesting piece of information and a powerful part of strategy.  The first book on “checkers” was written by William Payne in England in 1756.

Draughts is known by different names around the world:
USA:  Checkers
Italy:  Darma
France:  La Jeu de Dames
Poland:  Warcaby
Germany:  das Damenspiel
Great Britain:  Draughts