Author Topic: Ergonomic 'keyboard'  (Read 5156 times)


  • MaKey MaKer
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Ergonomic 'keyboard'
« on: October 23, 2013, 09:07:56 AM »
I love text. I'm a computer science and game design student married to Emacs and Linux, and the power of text buffers and command line tools consistently blows me away. I can't stand touch or voice-oriented UIs, and I tend to think that a lot of 'recent' tools are just flashier versions of Unix tools that have been around for years.


I hate keyboards. All keyboards. Thumb-sized and regular; flat and angled, adjustable and fixed. They put an enormous burden on weak, easily-damaged body parts, instead of engaged the much larger, stronger muscles of the shoulder used in skilled penmanship. I hate carpal tunnel and I can't wait to be rid of the pained sensation I get every time I do any meaningful work on the computer.

What I want to do

I want to create a 'keyboard' control stick using a microcontroller - MakeyMakey or some other Arduino relative is preferable - that operates by a combination of button presses and joystick movement. There are already Linux programs to take gamepad input as text, but none of them is powerful enough or lends itself naturally to the kind of input I'd want to do.

To be more clear, my proposed system has two 3-axis sticks, each of which has four triggers and a "D-Pad" at the top. One trigger ('off-hand', labelled in my diagrams as 'right') serves as a quick entry system for common buttons: Right, Left, Up, Down, Control, Alt, Shift, Enter; Backspace, Hyper, Space, Escape, Symbols, Super, Tab, Delete, with NumLock and CapsLock as toggles. The other stick is for symbol and alphanumeric input, with the combination of position (left/left+up/up/up+right, etc.,) and button press determining the input.

My main concerns

My reading of forum posts and FAQs has left me with two big stumbling blocks: how to get this much input into the MakeyMakey, and how to get this much output from the MakeyMakey and to the computer. My understanding of the MakeyMakey is that it has a limited number of keypresses it can simulate - does anyone have any more specific knowledge, or links to guides? I'm trying to determine feasibility and have done some research, but I do have a lot on my plate at the moment and so it's possible I've missed an obvious source. General questions or thoughts on my proposal would also be appreciated!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 07:29:55 PM by waylandsmith »

Delta Golf

  • MaKey MaKer
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Re: Ergonomic 'keyboard'
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2015, 06:32:36 PM »
Hai Waailand smit  ;D Uh Waylandsmith,
cool thing I am Eager to see it work
check out: Jenne de Boisblanc created a Monome (a launchpad )
by 2 times 8 wires in a grit you get 64 trigger poins Hope this helps you
regard Dick
there is nothing better than do it