Time to start building

A project log for 2020 HDP Dream Team: UCPLA

The 2020 HDP Dream Teams are participating in a two month engineering sprint to address their nonprofit partner. Follow their journey here.

RubenRuben 07/26/2020 at 04:111 Comment

We spent the last few days discussing design options and ordering parts from many different vendors.

Essentially we decided to develop the button panel as a custom large 15 key keyboard complete with mechanical switches. For this version we will also add 3x 3.5 mm stereo jacks to allow for users to expand with common accessibility buttons.

This first version will be a USB keyboard, with at least 9 keys using a different mechanical switch. We will even try and use a capacitive touch button as one of the keys, and add a little vibrator motor for some haptic feedback. Each key will be hard coded to send some common keyboard command. The goal is to use the most common keys that are useful for navigating most devices with just a keyboard.

To achieve the goal of a universal remote we will develop a universal remote software that will leverage this default keyboard mapping as the control interface. In the simplest form, the users will be able to push a single key to trigger the corresponding action assigned to that key for the given page. To see a visual of this concept you can review proposal one of our concept presentation.

For now we will be developing the universal remote software to run on a Raspberry Pi with a 7" display. Ideally the final version of this software can run from any device with a display and that can recognize a keyboard.

In the final version of the keyboard we would like to create a user friendly configuration software the users can use to configure each button with custom keyboard commands. This way they could use this keyboard with any device they would like, I would not have to use the remote software if they didn't want to. We would also like to create a wireless version, and if we use a WiFi enabled micro-controller then we could potentially do more than just send keyboard commands.

But for the time being we are working to create this first prototype with enough switch variety to get some good feedback from our users at UCPLA to create an awesome keyboard by the end of this project.


Kelvin Chow wrote 07/26/2020 at 04:22 point


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