Spherical Keyboard Build Leaves Hacker Well-Rounded

Often times we as hackers don’t know what we’re doing, and we sally forth and do it anyway. Here at Hackaday, we think that’s one of the best ways to go about a new project, and the absolute fastest way to learn a whole lot as you go. Just ask [Aaron Rasmussen] regarding this spherical, standing 5×6 dactyl manuform keyboard build, which you can see in a three-part short video series embedded after the break.

[Aaron] gets right down to it in the first video. He had to get creative right away, slicing up the dactyl manuform model to fit on a tiny print bed. However, there’s plenty of room inside the sphere for all that wiring and a pair of Elite-C microcontrollers running QMK. Be sure to turn on the sound to hear the accompanying voice-overs.

The second video answers our burning question: how exactly does one angle grind a slippery sphere without sacrificing sheen or shine? We love the solution, which involves swaddling the thing in duct tape and foam.

You may be wondering how [Aaron] is gonna use any kind of mouse while standing there at the pedestal keyboard. While there is space for a mouse to balance on top, this question is answered in the third video, where [Aaron] learns the truth behind the iconic ThinkPad nubbin and applies this knowledge to build a force-feedback joystick/trackpoint mouse. Awesome answer, [Aaron]!

Not ready to go full-tilt, sci-fi prop ergo? Dip your toe in the DIY waters with a handy macropad.


Making a spherical keyboard. #craft #keyboard #howto #sculpture #timelapse

♬ original sound – Aaron Rasmussen


A spherical mechanical keyboard. Walt Whitman. Read next Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. #craft #sculpture #timelapse #poetry #keyboard

♬ original sound – Aaron Rasmussen


Making a joystick mouse for my spherical keyboard. Thanks for all the ideas in your comments! #keyboard #mouse #technology #howto #timelapse

♬ original sound – Aaron Rasmussen




20 thoughts on “Spherical Keyboard Build Leaves Hacker Well-Rounded

    1. Exactly what I came to say. I won’t be clicking on any of those links nor will I bother to finish reading the article. I’ve previously said that a good hack is a good hack regardless of the website it’s posted to. I take that back. Tiktok is cancer.

          1. Totally off-topic here, but…

            Siemens has said that Supplyframe will continue as an independent entity, and Hackaday is still a part of SF. We’re cautiously optimistic for status quo — because honestly Supplyframe has been great to us.

  1. Just to give reason to the no tiktok, I run a mobile browser that strips out tracking and adds. Works great for just about everything, as long as it’s not hard dependant on that level of invasiveness.
    Guess what: the videos don’t even play for me. I guess that makes the decision for me.

    1. VVS, we dont need no vertical video, with no control, no text.
      Why no control? All this for a blurry frienzy timelapse, without much informative content. Please, HaD is definitely worth better content.

  2. I think Tiktok is a pretty good idea for a project summary, the videos are capped in length so you really need to get your point across pretty quickly. I don’t know if it’s as good as the written word for comprehensibility and easy of browsing, but writing up a project is probably more work, so this is a nice middle ground.

  3. Tick tock videos simply don’t play for me even when enabling JavaScript. I’d appreciate more stills in the future if Hackaday is going to start relying on that site for content. Cool keyboard though, I have a soft spot for integrated nub mice.

  4. I’ve wondered if a trackball could be integrated into a dactyl build, not a big fan of the nubbin style mouse. I suppose a small-scale one could be done, or you could strip out the innards of a ball mouse and flip it upside down

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