Automated Catan Project – Standards

  • Rules of Settlers of Catan – we will carefully adapt the official rules from the game into our automated board game.
  • Coin Size – the tokens to represent the resources will be built to a standard poker chip size.
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) Plastic – the 3D printer here works best with this standard form of printing plastic.
  • 9V Battery – standard power source for electronics
  • Resistors – used standard resistor values and colors
  • DC Motors – will use the standard stepper and servo motors
  • Voltage into Arduino will be a standard value of 5V
  • Probability – we will implement a program to simulate rolling two dice with a 1/6 chance to roll any number on a six-sided die
  • Size of Pieces – the game pieces will follow the precedent from the official settlers of Catan game
  • Buttons – we will incorporate standard buttons to activate the automated board game.
  • Switches – we will use switches to adjust the dispersion of the resources
  • LEDs – use a standard 2V across each LED


  1. Roll Dice
    • Using an Arduino Micro Controller, each turn there will be a display of two integers (1-6) added together for a dice roll.
    • In addition to displaying the dice roll, each roll will be recorded to show the probability distribution of the dice at the end of the game through micro controller data.


2. Recognize Piece Placement

  • Using multiple circuit loops and resistors, one main deliverable is to be able to recognize if there is any settlement or city adjacent to the tiles on the board.
  • There are 54 possible placements on the game board and if there are 5 volts going to each one with another line feeding into individual input voltage pins, the micro-controller can label each point and measure what piece is on the board. 

3. Dispense Cards

  • One problem that this project plans to eliminate is the issue of reaching over the table to access the resource cards. There will be dispensary machine within the box of the game to dispense specific cards to individual players.

4. Record Points

  • While playing the game there are different ways to score points and the first one to get 10 Victory Points wins the game. Throughout the game because the board will be able to recognize the amount of pieces you have on the board it will also display the amount of points you currently have using 2 seven segment LED’s.

5. Read Cards

  • To resupply the Card Dispensary there will also be a “feedback” system atop the box of the game so that the individual resource cards can be divided into the appropriate piles. These piles will the replenish the dispensary system causing the game to continue without pause.

6. Randomize Board

  • Settlers of Catan has a unique feature that allows two games to never be played on the same board.
  • There are 19 Resource Tiles on the board
    • 4 – Sheep, Wood, Wheat
    • 3 – Ore, Brick
    • 1 – Desert
  • There are 19 number tiles that are placed on each resource tile.

Each of these aspects of the game can be randomized to create different playing fields for each game.

Such as these two examples seen above.

7. Automated Player

  • Another goal of this project is to write a program that can play as an individual in the game of “Settlers of Catan”.

8. Online Interaction

  • The final goal of this project is to build a program that allows people to play the game “Settlers of Catan” over a website.

Professional Practice Topic


John Bowers


Smartphone Sweatshops


Every year they’re are millions of people buying smartphones as the next big thing. While the monetary cost for these devices can be upwards of $900, there is a larger cost to hold these computers in people’s pockets.


Current Process

  • Outline


Automated Catan Project


John Bowers


The purpose of this project is to create an automated version of the board game “Settlers of Catan”. Throughout the game there is a constant process of gathering resource cards every time the dice are rolled. These resource cards will be dispensed to each player dependent upon their placement on the board and the number that is rolled. The goal of this project is to automate the entire dispensing process while keeping track of each player’s points.


  • Roll Dice
  • Dispense Cards
  • Record Points
  • Read Cards
  • Randomize Board
  • Automated Player
  • Online Interaction

Block Diagram

Current Process

  • Method to “sense” the settlements on each tile
  • Measuring Voltage with Raspberry Pi
  • Dispense Cards based on physical buttons