Interactive Media Systems, TU Vienna

Der Türkische Schachspieler

Thesis by Alexander Schälss

Supervision by Michael Gervautz


Hofkammerrat Wolfgang von Kempelen presented his mechanical chess player to the Viennese court of empress Maria Theresia in the year 1769. The chess automaton was an elegant wooden showcase. A life-sized figure in Turkish clothes sat behind a table. During a demonstration a human challenger could play chess against the mechanical figure. After several tours in Europe and the U.S.A. the automaton was destroyed by fire in the Peale's Museum in Philadelphia in the year 1854. In the context of the “Virtual Showcase”-project, which is part of the IST initiative (Information - Society - Technologies) of the European Union, a modern reproduction of the historical automaton for the Technisches Museum Wien was to be developed. In his master thesis the author describes the hardware and software components which were used and developed for the prototype of the Turkish Chess Player. The prototype is based on the Augmented Reality framework STUDIERSTUBE . The 3D-Model of the “Turkish Chess Player” is presented to the user by means of a passive stereo projection. The virtual chessmen are moved directly by the hand of the user via an image processing system.


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