Introduction: Labradox, a Keyboard Companion (Prototype)

Labradox is a keyboard designed for disable that cannot move their hand in huge movement, visually-impaired.

People that cannot move their hand in huge movement will most probably be having a hard time to type "Apple" on a normal sized keyboard even though it is only a 6 letters word as they will have to move their finger from letter "A" to letter "P" which will require a very big movement since the two letters is so far apart.

So how does Labradox help?

Labradox will have 4 buttons on it and pressing the button in different orders will give a very huge amount of different combination. My team and I made use of this combination to produce different character when it is pressed. For example, if we want the letter "A" we will press on the first button of Labradox for 4x and a letter "A" will be generated. We also included a easy to remember combination patterns that are in orders so that the users can easily memorized the combination of each character. As for the blind, Labradox will also help as they only need to press 4 buttons and they do not have to slowly feel 1 key by 1 key in a specialized keyboard for the blind.

Step 1: What You Will Need?

You will required

1x PIC18

5x Buttons (different colors if possible)

1 LCD screen

A piece of acrylic

1x 10k resistor

5x 470 resistor

1x buzzer


Strip board for circuit design

A bunch of wires

Step 2: The Coding

How does our code work?

Everytime a button is pressed, its registered as a number (1 to 5) when 4 buttons are pressed its saved as 4 digit number (i.e 1234) and it will be compared against the combination sheet above to output a letter on the lcd screen.

Instead of using 4 different variables such as numa numb numc and numd, we used only one which is num we managed to get a 4 digit value by multiplying each number by 10^(the order the button was pressed). If button 4 was pressed first, we would get the number 4*10^3 = 4000. If button 2 was pressed second we would get the number 2*10^2=200. If the next buttons are 1 and 1 respectively, we'd get 1*10^1=10 and 1*10^0=1. We then add up all the numbers and get 4211 which will give a { symbol.

The code we used is available below.

Step 3: The Circuit Board

This circuit board will be placed outside the Labradox. It is for the buzzer and LED and the function of the buzzer is for the visually-impaired users to know whether they pressed a button and for the LED is for the hearing-impaired users to know whether they pressed a button.

Step 4: The Hardware Design and Material

This is how our housing look like. We used laser cutting machine and cut the acrylic piece we have into the size we want. To bend it into the shape, we used a hot air gun and heat the side up and bend it on a piece of wood.

Step 5: Combination Sheet

This is the combination sheet that we will be providing to the users. Since the combination patterns and letters orders is in tally, it will be easier for users to memorize the combination.