Author Topic: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access  (Read 16359 times)

adaptableworld

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Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« on: October 09, 2012, 04:36:11 PM »
Hi.  I am looking for an suggestions on how the makey makey could be used for full keyboard emulation (or at least just for the alphabet).  Any thoughts?

wakeupsilver

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 10:05:08 AM »
The simplest way is to get multiple MaKey MaKeys and plug them in at the same time. Then remap the keys in the Arduino sketch. You can get up to 18 keys for each MaKey MaKey, so 2 will get you the whole alphabet plus the numbers.

ChrisHugh

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 06:05:07 PM »
You could enter any key in braille, and you would only need six  keys since braille is based on six dots.

sparks

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 06:06:37 AM »
I like Chris's idea of using Braille, which would mean only one MaKey MaKey would be enough to handle all your keys, but in many cases Braille will be as useful as binary or hexadecimal for users so I'd say Wakeupsilver's idea of using two boards sounds pretty good!

To elaborate on his reference to editing the MaKey MaKey Sketch, I'll give you a link to a tutorial that shows you how to make changes to the key mapping on the board: https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/388

James B

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 12:15:26 PM »
I'm working on a solution from a different angle. This would require something like either a custom Scratch environment (such as a communication program in Scratch), hotkeys set up through some kind of mouse/keyboard macro program (only thing I know of that would suffice is Quick Macros which is still a Trialware program, unfortunately), and maybe delving deeper into more sophisticated use of the MK's sketch.

Basically, assign combinations of keys as hotkeys for individual characters:

  • A + S = The letter A is typed on the screen
  • A + D = The letter B is typed on the screen
  • etc.

It can be tricky to set up, but if you can create homebrew buttons or get hold of sourced buttons that let you combine ground plus two or more MK connections without crossing signals unless the button is pressed, you can create a large number of buttons that are actually combinations of MK signals.

Mouse movements aside, we have access to 11 keystrokes out of the box without adjusting the sketch file to reassign mouse movements to keystrokes.

The largest number of potential combinations using the MK this way would be 462 different combinations. ODdly enough, 5 key combinations yield the same potential for combinations as 6 key combinations. But that's a whole lot of combinations.

Scaling down, 2 button combos give us 55 potential controls which is plenty for most keyboarding needs. 3 button combos yields a whopping 165 controls. If we bring it down to 10 keystrokes possible and reserving one button for the shift key, we can get to 45 controls plus shift key functionality for 2 button combos and 120 controls plus shift key using 3 button combos. It would take a while to wire up and you'd need some kind of GUI or keyboard macro or Arduino sketch solution, but it could work. If we remap the mouse movements, we can get to around a staggering 50k potential unique combinations (non-ordered, simultaneous, non-repeating combinations).

Hardware-wise, the big trick is hooking up (for example) A and S to one grounded button without crossing signals when A and D (for instance) is wired to a different grounded button (or S and D on a third button).

I'll try to rig something up and post it.

EDIT: 48,620 is the max number of unique combinations that could be made with a remapped sketch. Unfortunately, this involves surpassing the number of keys that are usually registered simultaneously. Using the maximum number of keys that can be pressed at once (6, I believe?) we have a grand total of 18,564 combinations possible. That's way more than anyone should ever need, would have time to wire up, or would have the mental stamina to memorize which combination does what. You'd need a reference chart just to be able to navigate the reference book.  :-\
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 04:57:09 PM by James B »
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Decafdrinker

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 10:11:28 PM »
Could you multiplex your inputs....use 11 inputs arranged 4x7.   When you press the key/fruit, it grounds 2 inputs, and write a sketch to perform some AND logic to generate 28 different key presses?

ChrisHugh

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2013, 08:25:02 PM »
Hello, I am trying to implement my braille idea from above. Can somebody please give me a pointer to where I can learn how to do chording? What I'm trying to do is set it up so that the makey makey can be used as a full keyboard using braille. I only need six keys, but I need to be able to press two at a time, three time, up to six at a time.

For example, pressing key 1 and key 4 at the same time should type the letter C

Like this

x  x
0  0    => 'c'
0  0

Anyway, I'm not a programmer. I just want to be able to help people who have repetitive stress injuries that are bad enough to justify them learning braille to try to relieve their pain. I would sure appreciate any help. Thank you.

arcizio

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2013, 09:18:15 AM »
why not develop smth such as a mobile phone keyboard with a sort of T9 translator...

lrnzcig

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2013, 01:25:13 PM »
Hi James G!

Did you do it the way you describe? A friend of mine and myself were thinking about the problem and on paper came up to a similar kind of solution, as a big keyboard for disabled. I was wondering if you made it work.

Thanks!

James B

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Re: Makey Makey for Keyboard Access
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2013, 10:22:12 AM »
I keep accidentally spreading myself thin and have not done a keyboard yet, no. I need to work on managing my projects better. It might take me a bit, as I'm also at a lack of computing capability at the moment.

One issue that should be present is when a user types using two or more keys simultaneously.

Let me know if you try it out!
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