Make a Capacitive Clothespin Keyboard for Your iPad

Even with all the optimization and style of new technology, the keyboard is a difficult thing to replace. Touch screens just don’t deliver the tactile feedback that connects us to the medium. [Adam Kumpf] remedies this by building his own keyboard interface to work with an iPad piano app, all from craft materials you’d likely find lying around in the kitchen.

To make your own, you’d first need a bunch of clothespins which will ultimately act as your keys. [Adam] shows how to stitch the separated halves of the clothespins onto a piece of cardboard with some basic rubber bands. These tension the keys so that they can rock back and forth over a pen or pencil placed beneath them. When you press down on one end, the other lifts causing an opposing pin to press the corresponding key of the iPad, just like a hammer inside a piano. With a little aluminum foil for conductivity wrapped around the side making contact, you’ve got yourself a quick solution for your itch to rock some Chopin.

You can see how well the project works in action below in his video:

10 thoughts on “Make a Capacitive Clothespin Keyboard for Your iPad

  1. It’s sad when a screen environment in the twenty first century can only imitate what is old and then poorly and not innovate. This hack reminds me of paper and white paste moments in school.
    The C-Thru Axis keyboard is one that deserves a look. On a tablet screen it would be able to cover 5 octaves with sharps. An overlay of laser cut plastic would make playing at least feel-able. Or 3D print buttons and the depth mesh holding them, foil tips and all for the real thing.

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