Ergonomic QWERTY keyboard with Trackball

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Reduced key-set with per finger keys alignment for comfortable fast typing.
It has well-known QWERTY layout, familiar numeric keypad and standard arrow keys arrangement.
Palm-rests and overall geometry addressing the CTS.
Built-in pointing device.
Whole 105+ keyboard emulation including the numeric keypad and F-keys.
Game-pad mode.
Keyboard body and palm-rests have a lot of space for laptop grade hardware. This keyboard can be easily converted into a portable computer to be used with home TV, office monitors or wearable displays glasses.

The main ideas I formulated for myself:

  1. Key set is divided in two planes - for left and right hands.
  2. Planes are mounted at angle to address the tunnel syndrome.
  3. Keys are not inclined, they are pressed straight vertically.
  4. A Space key cut in two and moved to the position under thumbs.
  5. All keys are grouped by actuating fingers and moved to match the middle key with each finger relaxed position "asdf" "jkl;".
  6. Keys are aligned in groups to reduce finger movements. Key cups also tailored to this goal. Finger blocks are not parallel, they aligned in the direction of each finger movement.
  7. The number of keys is reduced to let finger remain in its basic position all the time.
  8. Each index finger has one additional 3-key group (as in common qwerty keyboards). These additional groups ("TGB" for left finger and "YHN" for right one) are slightly raised above all other keys.
  9. Trackball mounted in the palm-rest acts as mouse and mouse wheel. This eliminates the necessity of movement between keyboard and mouse.
  10. All removed keys are placed in additional plane, activated by holding the thumb keys.
  11. Left additional plane contains numeric keys. Right plane holds arrow and navigation keys. Thus there is no hand movement between text typing position and arrows.
  12. The group of "shift-ctrl-alt-gui" keys is also eliminated. Holding key "F" acts as shift for right part of the keyboard. And the key "J" do the same for left part.


PTC Creo Elements Direct session file containing the main keyboard body, It has holes for ADNS-9800 mouse sensor, Cherry-MX keys, Teensy 2.0 controller and wiring. This is all just a prototype.

se2 - 1002.53 kB - 01/16/2017 at 16:25



Keycaps profile and attachment

Graphics Interchange Format - 9.09 kB - 01/11/2017 at 18:03

Preview Download


These are key caps for all keys except raised (TYGHBN) and thumbs (space-enter). I am modelling using PTC Creo Elements Direct. It is powerful but its interface looks not so friendly to me. I'd be grateful if you suggest something else. Key caps designed to fit CherryMX switches. I printed them on FDM Rostock with no supports.

pk2 - 231.02 kB - 01/11/2017 at 17:54


View all 3 files

  • Electronic parts and body

    Andrey Kalmatskiy3 days ago 0 comments

    Since this is just a early prototype, I decided to work without any PCB.

    I decided to employ ADNS-9800 as a mouse sensor and Teensy 2.0 as the main controller board.

    Wiring is done with some old IDE cable (yeah soldering is not my talent ;-).

    ADNS-9800 switched to 5 V.

    Cherry MX keys (I've chosen Blue ones for its soft clicks) are mounted in the main body.

    Keys are wired in 3 rows by 12 keys in each row. This occupies more pins but reduces the ghosting problem: a finger cannot press multiple keys of one grid column.

    Thumb keys are wired to the middle row on their own columns.

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