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Topic: The Amazing Shortcut Keypad: Arduino - Based Computer Automation (Read 478 times) previous topic - next topic

robinhartley

Hey everyone, Robin here.

I'd like you to imagine a magic button which you can press and it can automate anything you can do on your computer.
Now put 12 of those together and you have TASK - The Amazing Shortcut Keypad.

Multiple keyboard shortcuts one after the other? One button press.

Type out a long piece of code or text? One button press.

Open up your web browser, type out the youtube url for Rick Astely's Never Gonna Give You Up, press enter, turn your volume up to 100 and lock your computer... you guessed it, one button press!

I created The Amazing Shortcut Keypad so that you can automate anything at the press of a button to improve productivity, remove repetitive/tedious tasks and also to experiment and have fun.

It's taken over a year to build, prototype and programme and I will be releasing every bit of it open source. More on that later.

Here's how it looks:



Automation is assigned completely graphically using a drag-and-drop interface. You can automate things in a matter of seconds, no kidding. The real strength of this keypad is how quick, easy and powerful the automation is.



If you'd like to see more, there is a demo video over at www.theamazingshortcutkeypad.com which shows how it can be used with CAD software, gaming, word processing, software development and music editing.

I originally created it to help speed me up using AutoCAD during my studies as an engineer. Since then, I've invested a fair bit of time and money in user testing it, developing the hardware and the software and generally making it something I'm really proud of. The keypad is based upon an Arduino Pro Micro and uses Cherry MX mechanical keyboard keys.



I was originally going to crowdfund this and sell manufactured keypad kits but I did the calculations and it actually works out quite expensive for the end customer. It also limits you in the flexibility of the design and means you can't tweak/hack to your own particular needs.

Therefore, I decided to crowdfund the open sourcing of the project. In June I will run a campaign and if it reaches its target, every part of this project will go open source. You'll get it cheaper than if I manufactured it, you can make as many as you want, change and tweak them as much as you like and if you already have some of the components, you don't need to buy them again!

I think it works out better for everyone :) I'll release five designs, ranging from a simple button on a breadboard, right up to the professional Cherry MX version, with software, instructions, tutorials etc. everything you will need.



This project just started on my desk at university but I hope that now I have developed it,  it will be a genuinely useful automation tool that will save people time, effort and money. Fingers crossed I will also get some return through the crowdfunding campaign.

If you're interested in hearing about the campaign when it launches, you are welcome to sign up to the mailing list at www.theamazingshortcutkeypad.com

There won't be any spam or anything, don't worry - it's just a good way for you to hear about the campaign.

I'd be delighted to answer any questions you have on the technicalities, usage, design etc. anything you like.

Thank you very much for taking your time to read through this, I hope you like the keypad!

Happy hacking,

Robin

P.S. You should definitely check out the demo video at the website above, I think you'll really like it.


xl97

Nice job!  (I Like the name)..


To be clear though.... (IMHO at least)  the strength of this project is how you can quickly assign 'macro's' to the keys..

The other stuff.. if just regular old, off the shelf, Leonardo/Pro-Micro capability.

That being said.. any focus on the GUI/interface is where most people will see a benefit. 

Good Luck!

robinhartley

Nice job!  (I Like the name)..


To be clear though.... (IMHO at least)  the strength of this project is how you can quickly assign 'macro's' to the keys..

The other stuff.. if just regular old, off the shelf, Leonardo/Pro-Micro capability.

That being said.. any focus on the GUI/interface is where most people will see a benefit.  

Good Luck!

Thanks! You're absolutely right, the novelty is in the user interface and the ease of use. The functionality itself has been around for a long while and I'm certainly not doing anything new in that department - just building on the good work of other people!

I'm glad you like the name, I was originally going to go for The Ultimate Shortcut Keypad but it sounds a bit big-headed and TUSK just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Thanks for your comment and your encouraging words!

TonyD

I thought I recognise the project :-)

I saw it at Maker Faire UK earlier in the month, it looked even better in the flesh. Good luck with the crowd funding.

robinhartley

I thought I recognise the project :-)

I saw it at Maker Faire UK earlier in the month, it looked even better in the flesh. Good luck with the crowd funding.
Hey, great to hear that you saw the project at Maker Faire - It was my first one and I absolutely loved the whole experience. Thanks for your kind words and I'm delighted you like the project!

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