A project by Quek Wen Qian, Lee Han Yong Andy, Chan Jian Hao, Gerard Tan for Hack&Roll 2020.

Inspiration

Inspired by Stephen Hawking, there are plenty of great minds amongst those with impaired physical mobility.

What it does

HawkingBoard empowers users who have difficulty using normal keyboards by serving as a minimal-cost, minimal-dexterity, full-featured keyboard that is controlled with 1 point of contact. With just a single touch, this tool equips them with the ability to code or write a book.

How we built it

Fusion of hardware and software.

Hardware:

Circuit + Arduino + C, connected via USB to a PC, which appears as a HID Keyboard Device

GUI:

C# and Winforms to display background keystroke translation for user reference

Bridging:

AHK to translate hardware input into keystrokes

Challenges we ran into

Hardware:

Being new to hardware, circuits and arduino. Damaged diodes and components. Limited hardware equipment. Sensitivity/fragility of components. Solder not attaching to USB connector.

Software:

Being new to AHK. C# unable to detect background keystrokes and having to hook to kernal keypress. Accurately timing keypresses (e.g. key up, key down for different forms of input). Differentiating between different keystrokes. Sending special keys and modifier keys. Integrating different aspects of the project together (e.g. hardware to software).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Being our first hackathon, the time pressure was real but we're glad we could complete in time. We also overcame our lack of experience in the tools used and learnt new skills in the process.

What we learnt

Hardware knowledge. GUI. Hooking keystrokes in background. Keystroke manipulation.

What's next for HawkingBoard

AI for predictive text. Text-to-speech. Proper hardware casing.

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